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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Clockwatch: Japan 2-2 Belgium


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All the action as hosts Japan earn a 2-2 draw with Belgium after an entertaining second half.

90 (+2) mins: The referee blows the final whistle to bring the game to an end.

90 (+1) mins: Eric van Meir heads goalwards for Belgium but Seigo Narazaki saves comfortably.

90 mins: The hearts of the Japanese fans inside the Saitama Stadium are in their mouths as Wesley Sonck is sent crashing down in the penalty area after colliding with Seigo Narazaki. The referee awards a corner kick, much to the home fans' relief.

88 mins: Belgium win a free-kick in a dangerous position on the left wing, but the delivery is poor and Japan clear.

85 mins: Junichi Inamoto hits the ball into the net after dazzling the static Belgian defence with some good footwork - but referee William Mattus disallows the goal for a foul. It is a dubious decision.

84 mins: Belgium whip the ball into the Japanese penalty area, and Wesley Sonck reaches Mark Wilmots' header across goal, although Seigo Narazaki saves Sonck's header.

81 mins: A clumsy tackle by Eric van Meir on Atsushi Yanagisawa earns the Belgian a yellow card.

80 mins: Japan have another flurry of chances. First, Atsuchi Yanagisawa finds space after a poor defensive header and blasts in a shot which is about two feet too high. Moments later, Eric van Meir produces a fine tackle to stop Yanagisawa as he looks to break clear.

79 mins: Belgium try a long ball towards substitute Wesley Sonck, although it is just too strong.

74 mins: Japan's lead lasts just six minutes as Peter van der Heyden springs the host nation's offside trap and neatly lobs Seigo Narazaki for his first goal in international football.
Japan 2-2 Belgium

71 mins: Japan's Tsuneyasu Miyamoto - wearing a striking Lone Ranger-esque face mask - takes the field as a replacement for captain Ryuzo Morioka.

70 mins: The stunned Belgians are rocking and substitute Hiroaki Morishima breaks clear down the left, although the Belgians regroup in time to block his shot.

68 mins: The euphoria in the Saitam Stadium turns into utter delirium as Junichi Inamoto of Arsenal puts Japan into the lead.

Picking up the ball in midfield, Inamoto displays fine pace to power past Eric van Meir into the box and hammer the ball past Geert de Vlieger into the net.
Japan 2-1 Belgium

64 mins: Atsushi Yanagisawa produces a fine run down the right and is stopped only by a fine tackle by Yves Vanderhaege, Belgium's last man.

62 mins: Shinjo Ono forces a good save from Geert de Vlieger with a curling free-kick from a tight angle. It is Ono's last contribution as the midfielder - thought to be struggling with illness - is replaced by Alex.

61 mins: Gert Verheyen becomes the second Belgian player to be booked, for a foul, and Jacky Peeters is also booked moments later as the rattled Belgians resort to desperate measures.

58 mins: The Saitama Stadium erupts in a frenzy as Japan equalise just two minutes after falling behind.

Takayuki Suzuki is the scorer, running in behind Jacky Peeters to latch on to a long pass and prod the ball beyond Geert de Vlieger, sending the fans into wild celebrations.
Japan 1-1 Belgium

56 mins: Mark Wilmots scores with an overhead kick to give Belgium the lead.

It is a spectacular finish, but came after a scrappy build up, in which Japan paid the penalty for failing to clear their lines.
Japan 0-1 Belgium

53 mins: Japan's Junichi Inamoto joins Kazuyuki Toda in the referee's notebook after fouling Gert Verheyen.

52 mins: Japan are forced to defend as Gert Verheyen breaks through the middle, but they eventually feed the ball back to goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki, who clears.

49 mins: Shinji Ono fires the ball down the right and Daisuke Ichikawa does well to reach the ball and hit in a cross, although Belgian keeper Geert de Vlieger claims well.

47 mins: Some pretty ordinary Japanese defending give Mark Wilmots a sight of goal, but the Schalke striker fails to keep his composure and blasts the ball high over the bar.

1101 BST: The second half gets underway.


45 (+2) mins: The referee's whistle brings the half to an end.

Japan have enjoyed more possession, but have lacked a cutting edge, and Belgium have had the better chances.
Half-time: Japan 0-0 Belgium

45 mins: Hidetoshi Nakata twists and turns on the lift and lifts in a cross which Atsushi Yanagisawa heads, although he cannot direct it on target.

44 mins: Ryuzo Morioka is hassled by Mark Wilmots and forced to pass back to his goalkeeper from the halfway line.

40 mins: Gert Verheyen's back header is on target, but easily claimed by goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki.

39 mins: Daisuke Ichikawa, on the right wing, latches on to a good pass, and jinks into the box - although he is unable to find a cross which does justice to the build up, and Belgium clear.

36 mins: Bart Goor is guilty of a glaring miss for Belgium. Gert Verheyen's cross from the left is only partially cleared, and the ball comes to Goor who blasts wildly off target from 10 yards.

35 mins: The passionate Japanes fans shriek as a Hidetoshi Nakata snapshot flies just over the Belgians goal. If Japan score, the fans will go bananas.

33 mins: Yves Vanderhaege finds space down the right for Belgium, but his cross flies straight into the hands of Seigo Narazaki

30 mins: Kazayuki Toda becomes the first Japanese player to be booked after a somewhat reckless challenge on Gert Verheyen.

28 mins: Belgium come desperately close to scoring, as Seigo Narazaki has to make a diving save to prevent Mark Wilmots' header. That comes moments after Jacky Peeters' fierce drive is blocked by the Japanese defence

26 mins: Bart Goor makes a mess of attempting to retain possession near the touchline and the crowd unleash a huge roar. The reverential, polite atmosphere which has characterised some of the previous games is certainly not in evidence here.

23 mins: Japan's Takayuki Suzuki just lacks a yard of pace as he attempts to break clear, and the Belgian defence snuffs out the danger.

22 mins: Belgium fashion their first clear-cut opportunity, Jacky Peeters crossing to Gert Verheyen whose header is not far wide with Japan keeper Seigo Narazaki struggling.

20 mins: Peter van der Heyden is the first player into the referee's notebook, as he is cautioned for cynically scything down the flying figure of Daisuke Ichikawa.

19 mins: An ambitious 35-yard drive from Kazuyuki Toda flies high over the bar. Not that the crowd care - there is a crackling atmosphere inside the Saitama stadium.

17 mins: Hidetoshi Nakata's neat skill and pass finds Takayuki Suzuki, and although the Japanese striker loses possession, the host nation have enjoyed the better of the game so far.

14 mins: Junichi Inamoto displays some neat skill to beat two Belgians in midfield, although the move breaks down with a disappointing final pass.

11 mins: Japan win their first corner as Takayuki Suzuki finds space inside the six-yard box. Hidetoshi Nakata's cross is good, but Geert de Vlieger takes the ball well.

10 mins: Some smart play down the right sends Arsenal's Junichi Inamoto into space, although his cross is over-hit.

8 mins: Every Japanese pass is being cheered to the rafters by the enthusiastic crowd.

6 mins: Japan win a free-kick near the right corner flag, although Geert de Vlieger claims Koji Nakata's tame cross.

3 mins: The crowd roar as Japan mount their first attack, although Hidetoshi Nakata is caught offside.

1 min: Belgium begin with an attacking flurry, with Bart Goor's mis-hit shot eventually leading to a Belgian corner, which is cleared by Japan.

1000 BST: The match kicks off in front of an expectant capacity crowd in Saitama.


Japan: Seigo Narazaki, Naoki Matsuda, Ryuzo Morioka, Koji Nakata; Daisuke Ichikawa, Junichi Inamoto, Kazuyuki Toda, Hidetoshi Nakata, Shinji Ono, Takayuki Suzuki, Atsushi Yanagisawa

Belgium: Geert de Vlieger, Daniel van Buyten, Eric van Meir, Jacky Peeters, Peter van der Heyden, Yves Vanderhaeghe, Timmy Simons, Johan Walem, Bart Goor; Gert Verheyen, Marc Wilmots

Referee: William Mattus (Costa Rica)


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