March 3, 2013

Fuji Xerox Super Cup 2013

By some weird twist of fate, I ended up with free tickets to the 2013 Fuji Xerox Super Cup. The match pitted the J. League Champions and the Emperor's Cup winners of the previous season: Kashiwa Reysol and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

I freely admit to not knowing much about Japanese soccer -- the only time I will watch is when the World Cup is going on. Still, I'd never seen a soccer game in person so it seemed as good a time as any.

What surprised me was the number of kids in attendance. More than a few of them were literally bored to tears.

For some reason, the camera crane was only set up on this side of the field.

Purple for Sanfrecce Hiroshima...

...and yellow for Kashiwa Reysol. Both teams had a dedicated fan base that were on their feet throughout the game, singing songs and clapping.

The game itself I found rather lacking in interest, although fans of soccer tell me it was a good game. The problem with watching soccer on TV is that your viewpoint has already been determined by the camera, and the announcer clues you in to when something important will happen. Left to my own devices, I was struck by how difficult it is to keep track of the ball. I almost missed Sanfrecce's goal -- the only goal of the game -- and really only saw it from the corner of my eye.

Warming up in case a replacement is necessary.

The Reysol's goal keeper Takanori Sugeno, who exercised during when the ball was on the other side of the field.

A baby in the bleachers. There were nearly 30,000 people in attendance.

I didn't even notice this sign until the crowd had thinned a bit after the game.

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