TOKYO – Japanese rugby fans erupted in celebration on Sunday after their team advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time with a convincing victory over a determined Scotland.
It was hard to imagine the Tokyo region had battened down against a powerful typhoon just 24 hours earlier as Japan's supporters brought energy to an electric atmosphere in Yokohama Stadium, across fan zones and sports bars to cheer on the Brave Blossoms.
Fans in the red-and-white-striped jerseys of their team hugged, exchanged high-fives and chanted "Nippon!" as the gong sounded following the 28-21 win that punched Japan's ticket to the quarter-finals where they will face South Africa next weekend.
"They had a complete victory scoring four tries and made it to the best eight for the first time. It's incredible!" said Tetsushi Yamamoto, 39, who came to watch the match at a fan zone in Tokyo's Yurakucho district.
Japan is known for its love of baseball, soccer and the traditional sport of sumo but the tournament hosts have been winning the hearts of new fans and attracting record television audiences.