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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019


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Hello, and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 7pm.


We’re under way…


Promising start for Japan.

Kagawa fires just wide from the edge of the box.


Not too much has happened so far.

It’s been a relatively cagey start.


Japan have started quite well.

They’re enjoying plenty of possession and territory in the opening stages.


Witsel’s shot is deflected just over.

There’s been plenty of patient build-up play from both sides, but little in the way of end product thus far.


Lukaku receives the ball via the head of Meunier, and his shot just inside the box is deflected wide.

Belgium are coming more into this game now.


Nagatomo gets in a good block to deny Lukaku a clear shot.

Japan have handled Belgium’s potent attack very well so far.


Belgium are looking frustrated at the moment. They don’t look like finding a way past Japan’s stubborn backline as it stands.

As I type though, there’s a half-chance, as Lukaku fails to properly control a dangerous Mertens cross.


Kompany is very close to directing the ball into the net from a cross, while moments earlier, Kawashima had to parry a powerful Hazard shot.

Belgium are really beginning to up the tempo and pile on the pressure now.

Down the other end, Japan go close, but Inui’s header is straight at Courtois.


Belgium are looking a little vulnerable on the counter-attack.

If Japan could be more clinical, there might be some joy for them here.


Shibasaki gets the first booking of the game for cynically taking down Hazard.

This game is still very even, with clear-cut chances few and far between.


Japan might find it hard as the game develops to maintain this level of concentration.

They’ve spent a lot of time chasing the ball.


Courtois has a nervy moment, as he almost lets Ōsako’s attempt slip through his fingers, but gathers at the second attempt.

There will be one minute of additional time.


The second half has begun…


Japan counter and Vertonghen fails to cut out a through pass, before Haraguchi makes no mistake with the finish, which is just the Asian side’s second shot on target.

Moments after the goal, Hazard hits the post from the edge of the area.

Is it going to be one of those nights for Belgium?


Kompany’s header only half clears it.

Inui receives the ball on the edge of the area and fires an unstoppable shot past Courtois.

Japan are in dreamland right now.


Japan continue to threaten.

Haraguchi’s cross is headed clear by Witsel.


Big chance!

Meunier crosses for Lukaku, who heads wide with the goal at his mercy.


Sakai gets forward well from right back.

His cross is cleared via the foot of Courtois.


Belgium make a double change with Fellaini replacing Mertens and Chadli coming on for Carrasco.

They look panic-stricken right now.


Vertonghen’s header has given Belgium hope.

Can Belgium secure a dramatic late equaliser now?


Nagatomo’s cross is intercepted by Alderweireld.

Japan are still not afraid to get players forward.

Down the other end, Belgium break, and De Bruyne’s shot on the edge of the area is deflected off target.


What a comeback!

Hazard’s cross finds substitute Fellaini, who heads home.



Japan look tired now, with Belgium pushing for a winner.

The Asian side make a double substitution they hope will provide them with an injection of energy — Shibasaki and Haraguchi are replaced by Honda and Yamaguchi.


Chance for Japan.

Honda is played through, but he can only find the side netting from a tight angle.


Kawashima makes two brilliant quick-fire saves to deny efforts from both Lukaku and Chadli.

What a game this has been!



Sakai desperately clears after a good run by Chadli.

Both Belgium’s substitutes have had a positive impact on this game.


Courtois does well to make a save, as Witsel almost turns a cross into his own net.

There will be four minutes of stoppage time.


Belgium break, Meunier crosses and Chadli finishes.

That is surely that.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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