Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Takayuki Suzuki 59'
  • Junichi Inamoto 68'

2 - 2



  • Marc Wilmots 57'
  • Peter Van Der Heyden 75'

    Philippe Troussier's team avoid becoming the first hosts to lose their opening game and keep alive their hopes of making the second-round.


    An excitng second-half comes to an end. The points are shared by Group H rivals Belgium and Japan.

  • 90'

    Japan's Alex is still causing problems as time ticks away.....and that's it! The final whistle goes.

  • 89'

    Belgium win a corner which Goor takes. Van Meir gets in a header which is blocked by the Japan defence.

  • 88'

    Japan look more likely to get a winner as both teams desperately look for a goal.

  • 87'

    Alex gallops down the left for Japan. He gets in cross, too heavy for his supporting striker.

  • 87'

    .....Straight into the wall.

  • 87'

    Miyamoto concedes a freekick on the left of the box. Strupar will take it....

  • 86'

    The ball pings around midfield during a frantic finish to the match.

  • 85'

    ...The Arsenal man slots the ball in the back of the net, but the ref has blown for some invisible foul by Inamoto. No goal.

  • 84'

    Inamoto chinks his way into the box, past two lunging defenders, and only the keeper to beat......

  • 83'

    ....The Derby County player's header is saved easily by Narazaki.

  • 82'

    Wilmots gets a header in the Japanese box and flicks-on for Strupar.....

  • 81'

    Strupar comes on for Verheyn.

  • 80'

    Alex does a few step overs and delivers a cross into the box. Van Meir - just booked - heads clear.

  • 79'

    ...He shoots over the bar.

  • 78'

    The Belgium rightback cuts out a cross with his head but it falls to Morishima....

  • 77'

    Toda pumps a longball into the box. Inamoto runs into trouble and loses possession.

  • 76'

    Belgium are growing in confidence now as the push forward for a winner.

  • 75'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Belgium to win, with bet365  

  • 75'

    ....the defender stretches and guides the ball over Narazaki. GOAL!!!!!!!!!

  • 74'

    ...Van Meir knocks the ball over the advancing defence and Van der Heyden latches onto it.....

  • 73'

    Marazaki concedes a corner under pressure from Sonck. Japan clear as far as Van Meir....

  • 72'

    Morioka picks up an injury and is replaced by defender Miyamoto.

  • 71'

    Belgium also make a change. Sonck is on for Walem.

  • 70'

    Leading 2-0 Japan make a change. Suzuki goes off and is replaced by Morishima.

  • 69'

    ....Inamoto hammers the ball over De Vlieger and into the roof of the net. GOAL!!!!

  • 68'

    .....he bursts through and is one-on-one with the keeper......

  • 67'

    Inamoto picks up the ball and runs at the defence.......

  • 66'

    Alex plays a good ball into Yanagisawa, but the striker can't control the pace.

  • 65'

    Walem and Goor combine on the left. Good pressure form Japan forces a mistake from the duo and they win a throw.

  • 64'

    Toda thumps a longball forward. No striker is there to chase it and the Belgian keeper takes control.

  • 63'

    Japan bring on Brazilian born Alessandro 'Alex' Santos for Ono.

  • 62'

    Ono whips in a curling shot which De Vlieger tips over the bar.

  • 61'

    Yanagisawa takes a tumble on the left of the box to win a freekick.

  • 60'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Belgium to win, with bet365  

  • 60'

    The game has suddenly come to life, the crowd find their voice as Verheyen is booked.

  • 59'

    ...Suzuki outpaces the Belgium defence and toe pokes the ball past De Vlieger. GOAL!!!!!

  • 58'

    Japan look to hit back straight away with a long ball for Suzuki to chase......

  • 57'

    .....Wilmots smashes an overhead kick into the back of the net. GOAL!!!!!!

  • 56'

    ....The defence heads clear only as far as Van Meir. the defender hooks the ball back into the box.....

  • 55'

    Walem takes....

  • 54'

    Goor burst forward down the left and is fouled by Toda in freekick range.

  • 53'

    Peeters takes a long throw from the right. Verheyen leaps for it unfairly and the ref gives a freekick.

  • 52'

    Morioka looks to build from the back for Japan. Inamoto fouls Verheyen and is booked.

  • 51'

    ....The keeper collects and is fouled by Suzuki on the way down.

  • 50'

    Suzuki and De Vlieger are under it......

  • 49'

    Nakata chases a longball into the corner, he hits an up-and-under into the box.

  • 48'

    ....The striker pokes his 10-yard shot over the bar, under pressure from Morioka.

  • 47'

    A poor clearance is headed back in the box for Wilmots to chase......

  • 46'

    Peeters attempts a trick on the touchline and Ono goes straight through him. Foul.

  • 46'

    Belgium get the second-half underway.


    Belgium have had the better chances to score in the first-half, poor finishing has let them down.


    Inamoto and Ono have looked dangerous for Japan, but Nakata has to get into the game more if the hosts are to win this game.

  • 45'

    The ref blows for the end of the half.

  • 45'

    ......Yanagisawa gets in a good leap but can't direct his header back towards goal.

  • 44'

    Nakata gets his cross in from by the corner flag......

  • 43'

    Yanagisawa switches play from right to left and Nakata drives forward.

  • 42'

    Yanagisawa wins a freekick but Japan play the ball back to their keeper.

  • 41'

    Japan build from the back. Matsuda hits a long ball for Suzuki who wins a throw.

  • 40'

    Vanderhaeghe is down holding his back.

  • 39'

    Peeters pumps a long throw into the box. Verheyen flicks on a header and Narazaki collects under his bar.

  • 38'

    Ichikawa drives down the right towards goal. He plays a low cross into the box, but no teammate had followed his run.

  • 37'

    .......Goor's shot curls wide of Narazaki's righthand post. He should have done better.

  • 36'

    Verheyen gets his cross into the box and it falls for Goor to volley.........

  • 35'

    The ball is played forwrd to Nakata who hits a dipping shot over the bar.

  • 34'

    A tigerish tackle in midfield gives Ono the ball. He lays it off to Inamoto who wins a freekick.

  • 33'

    Vanderhaeghe driibbles his way down the right but puts a poor ball into the box for Wilmots.

  • 32'

    Belgium are fighting their way back into the match and their fans begin to chanting.

  • 31'

    Goor chases a poor return ball into the box and fouls Ichikawa in his attempt to keep possession.

  • 30'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Belgium to win, with bet365  

  • 30'

    Inamoto lays the ball off to Toda. He has to lunge for the ball, fouls Verheyen and gets booked.

  • 29'

    .....Wimots heads goalwards but Narazaki makes the save. That was Belgium's best chance of the match.

  • 28'

    Goor finds Wilmots in the box......

  • 27'

    .....The playmaker has no support and his backheel volley is cleared by the Belgian defence.

  • 26'

    Yanagisawa wins a freekick. The ball is lofted into the box for Nakata......

  • 25'

    Verheyen whips a ball in from the right. Narazaki comes off his line to pluck the ball out of the air.

  • 24'

    Japan break down the other end with Suzuki. The striker is muscled off the ball as he drives into to box.

  • 23'

    ...Peeters crosses the ball and Verheyen heads just wide.

  • 22'

    Vanderhaeghe brings the ball through midfield and finds Peeters on the right.......

  • 21'

    Belgium have struggled to build-up attacks so far and Japan are in control of the match.

  • 20'

    Toda releases Ichikawa down the wing, Van der Hayden fouls the midfielder and gets booked.

  • 19'

    Toda hits an ambitious 35-yard shot over the Belgian bar.

  • 18'

    Japan's midfield passing is brought to a halt as Van Meir hacks down Suzuki.

  • 17'

    Wilmots crosses from Belgium's right but Goor can't reach it.

  • 16'

    Belgium build from defence. Walem skirts the Japanese box and Inamoto is their again to break up the attack.

  • 15'

    Japan to win, with bet365  
    Belgium to win, with bet365  

  • 15'

    Inamoto dances through the Belgian midfield before Ichikawa hoofs the ball forward to no avail.

  • 14'

    Simons drives forward and blasts a 30-yard shot which the Japan defence block and clear.

  • 13'

    Nakata's corner goes straight into the hands of De Vlieger.

  • 12'

    Nakata flicks on a throw for Suzuki to win a corner on the left.

  • 11'

    ...the midfielder's cross is too heavy and drifts over the keeper's bar.

  • 10'

    Inamoto starts another attack down the left.....

  • 9'

    Inamato attempts a marauding run through the Belgian defence and is tackled by Van Meir.

  • 8'

    Suzuki wins the ball in midfield. Peeters breaks up the attack from Nakata down the leftwing.

  • 7'

    Japan take it quickly and waste a dangerous chance.

  • 6'

    Simons brings down Nakaata on the right of the box for a freekick.

  • 5'

    Wilmots controls a cross from the right but Ichikawa gets in a tackle on the edge of his area.

  • 4'

    .....Suzuki chases a throughball but is caught offside.

  • 3'

    Walem strikes the freekick into the wall and Nakata breaks for Japan.......

  • 3'

    De Vlieger deals with a back pass and sets up Verheyen, who is fouled 30-yards out.

  • 2'

    Some nevous pushing in the box gives a freekick to Japan.

  • 1'

    The Belgians, in a radioactive orange kit, take a freekick from the left and win a corner.

  • 1'

    Japan kick-off with a long-ball into the corner.


    The teams are on the pitch, the anthems are over and the football awaits.


    Co-hosts Japan finally get underway against Belgium and no host has lost their opening game.

Goal Shot Video
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Japan

  • 8(4)

  • -

  • 27

  • 0%


  • Belgium

  • 9(6)

  • -

  • 25


POS No Name


1 Geert De Vlieger


4 Eric Van Meir


12 Peter Van Der Heyden


15 Jacky Peeters


16 Daniel Van Buyten


6 Timmy Simons


8 Bart Goor


10 Johan Walem
9 Wesley Sonck


11 Gert Verheyen
20 Branko Strupar


18 Yves Vanderhaeghe


7 Marc Wilmots
POS No Name
F 9 Wesley Sonck
F 20 Branko Strupar

Match Stats

  • Japan
  • Belgium
8(4) Shots (on goal) 9(6)
27 Fouls 25
1 Corner kicks 4
1 Offsides 2
0% Time of Possession 0%
2 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 2

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