Nacer Chadli scored a stunning injury-time winnner as Belgium fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Japan 3-2 and advance to a World Cup quarter-final showdown with Brazil.
Chadli's superbly worked goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time was the final act of an epic last-16 battle that saw Belgium become the first team in 48 years to successfully overturn a 2-0 deficit in a World Cup knockout game.
The Red Devils will face five-time champions Brazil in Kazan on Friday after scoring three second-half goals without reply to break Japan's dogged resistance.
Goals by Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui in four devastating minutes had put Japan 2-0 up early in the second half to leave Belgium reeling.
However, the Red Devils responded with quick goals of their own as Jan Vertonghen, at fault for Haraguchi's goal, and Marouane Fellaini both scored headers before Chadli's dramatic winner in Rostov.
Relieved Belgium manager Roberto Martinez saluted his side's resolve.
Not only the teams and the managers, the entire footballing fraternity hailed the two teams for their commitment and hailed the match as one of the best so far in the World Cup.
English footballer Gary Linekar’s tweet summed up not only the match but the two teams involved and the World Cup in the perfect way.
And surely the English team too is also having the same thought.
Apart from their performance with the ball both Belgium and Japan played positive football, which didn’t involve any diving or play acting and VAR wasn’t used in the match at all. The game only witnessed end-to-end football. There was only one booking in the entire match.
And Twitter made sure both side were congratulated for keeping up the spirit of the game.
Belgium's 'golden generation' have now scored 12 goals in four games in Russia ahead of a last eight clash on Friday with Brazil, who beat Mexico 2-0 earlier on Monday.
The Japanese team, which was on the cusp of history, were also cheered for displaying character and true grit.
(With inputs from Reuters)