Belgium have pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in World Cup history to deny Japan a famous win.

Down 2-0 after 52 minutes, Belgium scored three goals in the final 20 minutes, including a 94th-minute winner, to book a quarter-final clash with Brazil.

It is the first time since 1970 that a side has comeback from 2-0 down to win a World Cup knockout game.

Nacer Chadli finished off a length-of-the-field movement late in stoppage time for the clincher at the Rostov Arena.

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Japan midfielders Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui scored in the 48th and 52nd minutes to give the underdogs a surprising 2-0 lead.

Jan Vertonghen started the comeback when he scored with a looping header in the 69th minute and another substitute, Marouane Fellaini, headed home Eden Hazard's cross from the left in the 74th.

What was expected to be a mis-match ended up to be a classic match.

Belgium were one of only three teams to win all three group games and topped the tournament scoring list with nine goals in the group stage. Japan narrowly scraped through to the knockout stage in the tightest of tiebreakers against Senegal — after both teams finished level in Group G — because they had a better disciplinary record at the tournament.

Japan have now lost in the round of 16 three times and have never reached the World Cup quarter-finals.

- With AP