Gary Lineker had a cheeky dig at Thibaut Courtois after Belgium 3-2 Japan


Belgium secured their place in the World Cup quarter-finals in the most dramatic of circumstances as Nacer Chadli's 94th-minute strike sent Japan crashing out.

Roberto Martinez's side had to come from two goals down to seal a 3-2 victory, Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini starting their comeback.

It was bitterly disappointing for Japan, who to their credit continued to attack even as they saw their lead disappearing in front of their eyes.

The Red Devils had been the clear favourites going into the last-16 tie, which they had set up after topping Group G by beating England 1-0.

After that victory over the Three Lions, Thibaut Courtois had caused a stir by questioning Jordan Pickford's height.

"The goalkeeper is 10cm smaller than me," the Chelsea stopper had said regarding Adnan Januzaj's winner.

"I would have caught it. He was too busy throwing his legs in the air."

For any number one to throw around comments like that, they need to be sure of a top-notch performance in their next outing and that can't be said of Courtois' display on Monday night.

In the first half, his blunder very nearly cost his side dear, though he was able to recover:

However, there was no stopping Takashi Inui's goal that put Japan 2-0 up and in the BBC studio afterwards, Gary Lineker couldn't help but revel in it.

Lineker had a joke at his expense 

"Do you think Jordan Pickford might have saved it?!" he joked.

On a more serious note, he added:

“Those little comments he made, they can come back to haunt you sometimes.

“But he got away with it obviously in the end.”

Belgium v Japan: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Courtois has been under heavy scrutiny at this World Cup and not only because of his comments post-England.

There is also growing speculation that the 26-year-old could be on his way to Real Madrid following his admission that he has a "preferred destination" in mind if he does depart Stamford Bridge.

Ultimately, while the Belgium 'keeper might not have been at his best, he can be grateful that Martinez's substitutions, which themselves came under fire at the time, turned the game on its head and ensured the 'Golden Generation' are still in with a shout in Russia.

How far do you think Belgium will go in the World Cup? Have your say in the comments. 

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