Expected results in unexpected ways.
Brazil 2 vs. 0 Mexico
The first 20 minutes were dominated by Mexico who were dominating possession and creating several chances. Brazil endured the pressure and began to grow into the game but the first half went goalless. Brazil came out for the second half to win and Willian was a major factor in how they played during the half. A Willian cross found Neymar who scored to give Brazil the lead in the 51st minute. Brazil controlled the half and Mexico had very few chances and Firmino scored in the 88th minute to send Mexico packing and Brazil to the Quarter-Finals. Brazil continue to win games without really lighting up the pitch.
Belgium 3 vs. 2 Japan
The game of the tournament so far as a lacklustre first half was followed by a firecracker second half. Japan came out firing for the second half and brilliantly countered Belgium, Haraguchi scored in the 48th minute to give Japan the lead and send the stadium into shock. Inui scored a belter of a goal in the 52nd minute to double the lead for Japan and leave Belgium needing to score two or more goals in 40 minutes. Belgium rallied and Vertonghen scored a freak of a header in the 69th minute to restore the deficit to one goal. Belgium began to grow into the game and a brilliant cross by Hazard was met by Fellaini’s head to equalise in the 74th minute. Honda had a brilliant free-kick saved in extra time which led to a corner for the Japanese. Japan flooded too many men forward and the cross was collected by Courtois who launched Belgium into a counter attack. In 9 seconds Belgium had reached the Japanese goal and with the Japanese players farther forward Chadli scored to send Belgium into raptures and give them a Quarter-Final place. Neither team deserved to lose and while Belgium set up a mouthwatering clash against Brazil, Japan can go home with their heads held high and with some brilliant memories from the World Cup.