The Netherlands surrendered a two-goal lead to Japan in Genk as the two 2014 FIFA World Cup hopefuls could not be separated.
Things were going smoothly for Louis van Gaal's men as Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben fired the Dutch into a two-goal lead, only for Yuya Osako to halve the deficit before the half. PFC CSKA Moskva forward Keisuke Honda found the equaliser on the hour mark, and neither side could find the winner in Belgium.
It did not take long for the Oranje to get their noses ahead as Van der Vaart pounced on Atsuto Uchida's weak defensive header to collect and lob the ball over goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa and into the net. At the heart of things throughout the first period, the Hamburger SV goalscorer turned provider for the second, playing in Robben on the right flank, and the winger produced a now trademark jink inside before smashing into the top corner with his left boot on 39 minutes.
The one-way traffic was halted a minute before the half-time whistle as Osako was on hand to side-foot Makoto Hasebe's low cross past a helpless Jasper Cillessen. Honda crashed an effort off the bar before making it 2-2 on the hour after a delightful passing move. The scorer was vital in its creation, playing one of six rapid passes which dragged the Dutch defence out of position, before finishing low with a first-time effort inside the area.
In the end, Van Gaal's men were lucky to come away with the draw as substitute Yoichirio Kakitani missed the target with only Cillessen to beat 12 minutes from time.