Japan suffered a heart-breaking loss in the final seconds of their World Cup last-16 match against Belgium but they still maintained their amazing tradition of cleaning the stadium.
The Japan side were 2-0 up after 52 minutes but Belgium produced a stunning comeback to win 3-2 with the last kick of the game to book a place in the quarter-finals against Brazil.
It was a World Cup classic and their fans were gutted about the defeat in a five-goal thriller but that didn’t stop them from clearing up the mess in the stands at the Rostov Arena.
Japanese are some of the best people you will ever meet, so respecting and so humble. Them cleaning up the stadium is also a great gesture.
— y (@TheColdTweet7) July 2, 2018
— Shubham Dasgupta (@ShubhamDasgupt2) July 2, 2018
Japan fans cleaning up their mess at the stadium. Bless um
— Christian Wainwright (@Christian_Wain) July 2, 2018
Talk about manners. Normally, after getting dumped out of a World Cup, the stories are usually about fans trashing the place and being general thugs.
But the class of these Japanese supporters, repeating their clean-up job from their match versus Colombia earlier in the competition, gives us all hope.
Japan fans had also ensured they kept the place tidy at the 2014 World Cup, when they stayed behind to take away the rubbish following a match against the Ivory Coast.
The action on the pitch was also brilliant. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium won 3-2 after it looked like they were out of the competition when they were losing 2-0 early in the second half.
But they came back with goals from Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli’s 94th minute winner.
The last team to come back from two goals down to win a World Cup knockout round match were Germany against England in 1970.
After a goalless first half, we’d be lying if we said we had high hopes for an exciting game but things took an unexpected turn.
Three minutes into the second half, Genki Haraguchi scored, taking Japan into the lead.
Japan scored again, this time through Takashi Inui, who smashed it in from 25 yards to give his team a 2-0 lead. It looked like happy days for Japan but Belgium, who are among the favourites for the competition, had other ideas.
That didn’t stop their fantastic fans from tidying up and setting an example to all of us. Let’s hope this trend catches on with other nations.
At the same time, can this World Cup get any better? Incredible football, class fans, and loads of exciting results. Bring on England against Colombia on Tuesday night.