Tokyo Soccer Fans Cheer For Japan, Belgium

Tokyo soccer fans cheer for Japan, Belgium

Soccer fans in Tokyo cheered as the national teams from Japan and Belgium competed in their round of 16 match at the FIFA 2018 World Cup underway in Russia.

About 400 people gathered at a public viewing event near Tokyo Tower before sunrise on Tuesday morning to watch the game on a large television screen. Many of them wore "Samurai Blue" uniforms to support the Japanese team.

The fans exploded in joy, cheering and hugging each other in the second half when Japan scored 2 consecutive goals.

Later, Belgium rolled back, scoring an equalizer, and then another in stoppage time to beat Japan 2-3, sending shock waves through the crowd.

Soon after, however, the supporters applauded their team for putting up a good fight.

A man in his 20s from Tokyo said that he wanted the Japanese team to win, but he thought it was a good game. He said he was heading straight to work, as it was early morning by the time the match was over.

The Belgian Embassy in Tokyo also attracted spectators. About 100 Belgians and Japanese from the Tokyo area gathered.

Belgian fans sighed in despair when Japan took the lead. But when Belgium scored its 3rd and winning goal, they jumped up and hugged each other.

Ambassador Gunther Sleeuwagen said it was a close game as he had expected, but Belgium was lucky at the very end. He said the Samurai Blue played very well.