Two substitutions, two goals: the remarkable Belgian comeback

Roberto Martinez's substitutions save Belgium's day, sending it through to the last-eight.

Nacer Chadli cushioned the ball over the line to complete an astonishing Belgium comeback.   -  AP

An already-thrilling, action-packed World Cup got even better with Belgium coming from two goals down to beat a spirited Japan.

And the prime reason why Belgium was able to score the goals it did and progress was its manager, Roberto Martinez, who made two inspired substitutions to turn the tide in Belgium's favour.

As it happened

Two goals down and with only 26 minutes of normal time left to play, Martinez threw on Marouane Fellaini for his aerial prowess. And the Manchester United midfielder couldn't have justified the manager's decision in a more appropriate way. He leapt high amid a crowd of defenders (the kind of situation he was brought on to encounter) to head Eden Hazard's delicious cross from left flank to beat Kawashima and set Belgium on a comeback trial.

Stats: Belgium becomes the first team since 1970 to come from two goals down to win a World Cup fixture.

Belgium has also become the first team in history to have two subs coming on and scoring a goal each in a World Cup knockout match.

Nacer Chadli came on along with Fellaini and scored the goal that will long be remembered! With seconds of the match left to play and Belgium defending a corner, Thibaut Courtois started off the counterattacking move that ended with Chadli side-footing the ball home and sending Belgium into the last-eight.

The Chelsea goalkeeper rolled the ball outat the opportune moment and, after the ball was fed to Kevin de Bruyne, the Manchester City midfielder ran through acres of space and played a perfectly-weighted pass to Thomas Meunier galloping forward on the right-hand side.

Meunier crossed first time, his low cross dummied by Romelu Lukaku, who dragged a defender along with him, and an on-rushing Nacer Chadli slotted the ball home coolly.

Amid the excitement and chaos, forgetting the manager's decisions is easy. But Roberto Martinez proved himself to be astute with his substitutions, the timing and the kind of them, too.

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