Tears of joy in Japan after nail-biting win over Spain

2 minute readDecember 2, 202212:08 PM GMT+8Last Updated a day ago

Tears of joy in Japan after nail-biting win over Spain

By Akiko Okamoto and Elaine Lieshttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.547.0_en.html#goog_17257588010 of 1 minute, 45 secondsVolume 0% Japan fans celebrate after stunning win over Spain

TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Japan erupted in cheers and tears after the national team’s 2-1 win over Spain early on Friday, with crowds packing public viewing areas in the pre-dawn cold shrieking with joy as they stunned another global football power at the World Cup.

Japan, who had also shocked Germany in their opener in Qatar, finished top of Group E to reach the last 16, a stage where they have faltered three times before.

“Doha Delights Again!” one newspaper headlined its online edition, evoking memories of what the media called the “Miracle in Doha” after Japan’s win over the Germans.

Fans chanting “Nippon” poured into Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya crossing before sunrise, jumping up and down and shouting “Fight, fight, fight!” as police struggled to control the crowd.

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“I never thought Japan would advance first place in the group. Thank you Japan! I love you guys!” said 19-year-old Yusei Sato, wearing Japan’s Samurai Blue national team jersey.

Takuya Kudo, 23, was in tears as soon as he saw Japan win.

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[1/5] Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group E – Japan v Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate outside the stadium after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages REUTERS/Issei Kato Read more12345

“I’m just so happy,” he said. “Honestly, I never thought Japan would do this well. I’m just really thrilled.”

Fans lingering in Shibuya pressed high-fives on bleary commuters making their way to work from one of Tokyo’s busiest stations.

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