I love so much the way Japan played that match. They didn’t go into a shell when ahead 2-0, and when Belgium came back and tied it, every Japanese player pushed himself to the utmost to get a winner. And then they lost to flawless execution in the waning seconds: a hard run by de Bruyne ending in a perfect pass to Meunier, a perfect cross from Meunier, a brilliant dummy by Lukaku, and a simple finish by Chadli. Japan’s insistence on continuing to play football when in the lead made that one of the matches of the tournament. And the lesson that other sides will draw from it is: Don’t play that way. Don’t do what Japan did. Jose Mourinho is nodding sagely as he contemplates this match.

Alan Jacobs @ayjay