Felt the same...
* * *When Japan’s Blue Samurai take on Belgium Monday (Jul 02 2018) for a spot in the World Cup quarter finals, fans nationwide will pack spots from bars to temples to cheer them on.
They are the undisputed underdogs against star-studded Belgium, but Japan weren’t even expected to qualify from their group after a chaotic and disappointing run up to the tournament.
The team’s surprise turnaround has delighted fans at home, with people determined to stay up and cheer despite a time difference that means Monday’s game starts at 3:00 A.M. Tuesday morning local time.
Hikaru Sasayama, also a university student, was planning to watch at a public viewing at a movie theatre, dressed from head to toe in Japan’s strip.
“I’m afraid Belgium are stronger as they are faster and taller than Japan, but I want to cheer them on loudly from the theatre,” Sasayama said.
* * *World Cup 2018: Heartbroken Japan fans clean stadium in tears after last-gasp loss to Belgium
Through the three group stage matches, Japan fans have stayed late to help stadium workers pick up trash in the stands. The tremendous show of respect continued even after Monday’s Round of 16 loss to Belgium.