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Saturday 16th July 2011 ko 7.00pm

J-League Division 1

VISSEL KOBE 4 (Matusuoka 2 Poppo 54 Park 57 Okubo 89p)

CEREZO OSAKA 1 (Bo-Kyung Kim 67)

Att 14,961

Entry & Programme 3,000 yen (prices hiked by 500 yen for the local derby)

Beer (thanks Erkki!) 500 yen

Nepalese Chicken Curry & Rice 800 yen

So the only revisit on my Japanese tour, and what a great way to do it, with some of the friends I met along the way, and Peter, without whom I simply wouldn’t have been there. Many thanks to you.

It was fun seeing the ground from a different perspective, from that of an away fan. Still totally safe, and Japanese queuing culture was very much in evidence as we waited to get in. I tried out the Nepalese Curry, which was delicious, and I tried to thank as many of new new friends as I could with my one word of Japanese- 感謝!

The only issue was the darned game! Put simply, Cerezo didn’t turn up! From start to finish, they looked like third place in a two horse race. So bad were they, you didn’t even notice calamity keeper Kim, and after the match Brazilian striker Rodrigo Pimpao was informed his services were no longer required.

But still the fans sang their hearts out, but after the final whistle something happened that is extremely unusual. The players came over to the away end to bow to the fans, and were roundly booed. They looked shocked, but the boos and catcalls continued until the players left the pitch. Then normal service resumed, the kit was neatly folded, litter tidied and everyone quietly went home.

I asked later what the fans were shouting. “Mostly play better next time,” was the gist of it. Polite to the last. I like that.