10′ – Kevin De Bruyne with a good through pass for Dries Mertens into the Japan box, but it turned out to be a tad fast for the striker. Goal kick for Japan
10′ – Takashi Inui’s cross-in to the middle of Belgium penalty area was headed out by Vincent Kompany
7′ – Attacking start from Japan. Won a throw-in on the left side of the Belgium box
4′ – Free-kick for Belgium. Taken a short one, but failed to enter Japan’s final third
1′ – Shinji Kagawa’s left-footer from the edge of Belgium area went just wide of the goal. First shot on goal of the match came from Japan
Here we go….
*Time for National Anthems*
*Belgium made as many as ten changes in the starting line-up, while Japan made six changes. That’s a total 16 changes. WOW!
* The record for most changes in a World Cup starting line-up is with Spain, who made 11 changes against Saudi Arabia in 2006 World Cup
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco; Eden Hazard (capt), Dries Mertens; Romelu Lukaku. Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)
Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe (capt), Gaku Shibasaki; Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui; Yuya Osako. Coach: Akira Nishino (JPN)
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Belgium central defender Vincent Kompany returned to the lineup to face Japan in their last 16 clash for his first start at the tournament after picking up a groin strain in a warm-up match a month ago. Kompany, Belgium’s veteran defensive talisman, comes in for Dedryck Boyata and will be partnered by Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in a back three while playmaker Eden Hazard retains the captaincy. Romelu Lukaku is also back as the central striker, with coach Roberto Martinez recalling his biggest name players after fielding practically a reserve team in their 1-0 win over England in their final Group G game.
Japan manager Akira Nishino has picked the same 11 players that drew 2-2 against Senegal in their penultimate group game, restoring Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui, Genki Haraguchi and Yuya Osako as his side target reaching the quarter-finals for the first time after failing twice in the last 16. Nishino had been criticised for rotating his squad and for his negative tactics in Japan’s 0-1 defeat by Poland in their final Group H game that saw them scrape into the second round.
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan. The match starts at 23:30 IST.