A great World Cup just got its best game. Trailing 2–0 to Japan in the second half, Belgium clawed its way back, scoring the winning tally in its 3–2 victory thanks to a lightning-fast counterattack in the 94th minute.
Four players touched the ball—goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Meunier, and goalscorer Nacer Chadli—but it was the one who purposely didn’t take a touch who turned a chance into a sure-fire goal. Striker Romelu Lukaku’s dummy fooled Japan’s scrambling defenders just enough to give Chadli a tap-in and send Belgium through to the quarterfinals.
U.S. fans will be reminded of Landon Donovan’s last-second goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup, but that depended on a lucky rebound. Belgium’s counterattack was as smooth as the High Fens plains. (I have until Friday to come up with better Belgium references in time for its quarterfinal match against Brazil.)