Beaten 2-0 by Colombia on Thursday, FIFA World Cup finalists Belgium were on the losing side again, succumbing 3-2 to Japan at the Roi Baudouin Stadium.
Red Devils coach Marc Wilmots was without the injured Christian Benteke, but still had reasonable attacking power at his disposal, Eden Hazard, Mousa Dembélé, Kevin Mirallas, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku all starting. On 16 minutes, Lukaku rounded goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and laid the ball off for Mirallas to get Belgium off the mark. However, Japan fought back and, after Shinji Kagawa drove against a post, Yoichiro Kakitani headed the equaliser having stolen in between defenders Toby Alderweireld and Daniel Van Buyten.
Japan had come from two down to draw 2-2 with the Netherlands on Saturday and again showed that battling spirit in Brussels tonight. They took the lead on 53 minutes with Keisuke Honda's neat drive from the edge of the box. Honda's clever chip then set up Shinji Okazaki to make it 3-1 ten minutes later, and while Alderweireld nodded in Kevin De Bruyne's cross, it failed to spark a Belgian rally.