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Belgium 1-0 Japan: Romelu Lukaku becomes top goalscorer

Belgium 1-0 Japan: Romelu Lukaku scores the game's only goal to become The Red Devils' all-time top scorer

  • Romelu Lukaku's second-half winner makes him Belgium most prolific striker
  • The Manchester United striker now leads the scoring charts with 31 goals
  • Nacer Chadli's great run and cross provided the assist for Lukaku to head home

By Sam Mcevoy For Mailonline

Published: 21:42 GMT, 14 November 2017 | Updated: 02:05 GMT, 15 November 2017

Romelu Lukaku turned into Belgium's savior again and became the nation's all-time top scorer as he headed home for a 1-0 victory over Japan in a friendly on Tuesday.

A game between two teams bound for next year's World Cup was decided in the 72nd minute, when Nacer Chadli weaved through the Japan defense and lobbed the ball into the goalmouth for Lukaku to head home.

The Manchester United striker's header took him past Bernard Voorhoof who scored 30 goals for the Red Devils between 1928 and 1940.

Lukaku was already instrumental in qualifying Belgium for Russia and also scored a brace last weekend in a 3-3 draw with Mexico which took him level with Voorhoof.

Romelu Lukaku heads home the game's only goal to become Belgium's all-time top goalscorer

Romelu Lukaku heads home the game's only goal to become Belgium's all-time top goalscorer

Axel Witsel celebrates with Lukaku as he becomes Belgium's all-time top goalscorer

Axel Witsel celebrates with Lukaku as he becomes Belgium's all-time top goalscorer

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BELGIUM'S TOP 10 GOALSCORERS
Player Career Goals
1. Romelu Lukaku 2010- 31
2. Bernard Voorhoof 1928-1940 30
2. Paul Van Himst 1960–1974 30
4. Joseph Mermans 1945–1956 28
4. Marc Wilmots 1990–2002 28
6. Robert De Veen 1906–1913 26
7. Wesley Sonck 2001–2010 24
8. Ray Braine 1925–1939 23
9. Marc Degryse 1984–1996 23
10. Jan Ceulemans 1976–1991 22

Lukaku also lacked any presence up top until his goal as the 24-year-old could find a way past Eiji Kawashima in the Japan net.

Belgium had the first chance of the game as Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne could fire his shot straight at Kawashima, after a long run into Japan's box.

De Bruyne continued to threaten the opposition as Japan's number one had to be equal to the midfield-maestro's long-range effort.

Despite Japan's quiet start, Yuya Osako and Maya Yoshida both just headed over just before the break with each chance good enough to have broken the deadlock for the visitors.

Nacer Chadli's brilliant run and cross provided the assist for Lukaku to break the deadlock

Nacer Chadli's brilliant run and cross provided the assist for Lukaku to break the deadlock

Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima pulled off several saves to keep his side in the match

Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima pulled off several saves to keep his side in the match

MATCH FACTS

BELGIUM: Mignolet; Kabasele, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne (Dembele 62), Witsel (Defour 84), Chadli (J. Lukaku 84); Hazard, Mertens (Mirallas 60), R. Lukaku (Origi 74)

SUBS NOT USED: Casteels (GK), Courtois (GK); Ciman, Dendoncker, Depoitre, Januzaj, Tielemans

GOALS: R. Lukaku 72

COACH: Roberto Martinez

JAPAN: Kawashima; H. Sakai, Yoshida, Makino, Nagatomo; Nagasawa (Morioka 62), Asano (Kubo 68), Ideguchi, Yamaguchi, Haraguchi (Inui 78); Osako

SUBS NOT USED: Higashiguchi (GK), Nishikawa (GK); Endo, Hasebe, Koroki, Kurata, Kurumaya, Miura, G. Sakai, Shoji, Sugimoto

BOOKINGS: Ideguchi 75

COACH: Vahid Halilhodzic

REFEREE: Danny Makkelie

VENUE: Jan Breydel Stadium

Japan then began to impose themselves after the break as a handful of chances failed to hit the target.

Dries Mertens failed to make an impact in Bruges as Kevin Mirallas and Moussa Dembele both made cameos in the friendly.

West Brom winger Nacer Chadli's moment of brilliance produced a header from Lukaku who headed home the goal's only game.

Thorgan Hazard nearly doubled the lead but his strike was off target as Roberto Martinez's side held out for the 1-0 win.

Kevin de Bruyne caused a lot of problems for Japan but couldn't get past Kawashima

Kevin de Bruyne caused a lot of problems for Japan but couldn't get past Kawashima

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