Today I went to Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, to watch the final soccer game of the National Sports Festival, which is the biggest annual sports event in Japan. This year’s festival was held in Fukui Prefecture for the first time in 50 years.
In the male soccer section, the Fukui team got through to the final. Fukui would face Tokyo.
I took the train to Mikuni and walked to the stadium. On the way there, I saw a beautiful butterfly.
It was a weekday, so I thought that around 100 people would come to the stadium. However, a lot more were there, and altogether 1,914 people came to watch the game, including kindergarten children, school students, adults, and elderly people.
Surprisingly, Princess Takamado also came to the venue to watch the game.
The match kicked off at 1:30. The team from Tokyo had better technical skills and controlled the game. Fukui didn’t manage to attack much and was forced to defend for most of the time. The first half ended 0:0.
↑↑ This is the first goal.
↑↑ After the goal.
Soon after the second half started, the game changed. Yuta Yamada of Fukui got the ball in front of goal and turned quickly. Then he shot with his left foot and scored. A thunderous cheer erupted around the stadium.
With this goal, Fukui gained momentum and attacked more often. Then, Yamada did it again. He took a weak shot with his right foot, and the ball hit the post and crossed the goal line.
Fukui won the game 2:0 and was crowned champion for the first time. They were presented with a certificate at the award ceremony.
After that, the team from Fukui went to the stands to thank their supporters. Today was a historic day for Fukui soccer.
I’d like to congratulate Fukui. I thought the most impressive thing was the cheers from all the elementary students. They cheered, “Go, go Fukui. Attack, attack Fukui.” Their voices must have given the players extra energy.