World of Sport

Japanese stars play on bravely despite flash flood

English fans were left fuming a few weeks ago when their World Cup qualifying match in Poland was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

If only the clash had been in Japan: no such namby-pambyness would have been permitted, as demonstrated by the J-League clash between FC Toyko and Vissel Kobe at the weekend.

Despite a flash flood that rendered the pitch totally unplayable in the early minutes, the two sides battled on bravely at the Ajinomoto Stadium to show that true footballers are never put off by a few drops of rain. It's enough to bring back memories of nightmarish PE lessons to chill even the hardiest of men

Somehow, the match did not end as a goalless draw: Kobe's Ryo Okui scored the only goal of the match in the 27th minute to give his side a priceless win that lifts them out of the bottom three with just two games left of the season.