If we’re being honest, we can’t say we know an awful lot about the J-League.
Fernando Torres is there – and scored a vital goal to keep his team in the league, for now at least – and so is Andres Iniesta. Speaking of whom, Iniesta’s side, Vissel Kobe, were today involved in some astonishing scenes towards the end of their match with Shimizu S-Pulse.
The final 10 minutes will go down in infamy, largely because it lasted about half an hour. It all kicked off when Vissel Kobe (wearing light blue) had a man sent off while leading 3-1 away from home to Shimizu. Just over five minutes later, the home side pulled one back through Douglas. It seemed to be all in vain though, as there were just two or three minutes on the clock.
Except, well, the referee and his assistants had decided to allow rather more added time than one might have expected. With 90 + 13:25 minutes on the clock, Hideki Ishige whipped in a corner and up stepped Yuji Rokutan, Shimizu’s goalkeeper, to nod in a dramatic equaliser by making the score 3-3.
Scenes. Absolute scenes. But the match was far from done. A matter of minutes later, Vissel Kobe’s Wellington crunched into a tackle, for which he was duly shown a yellow (clock: 90 + 14:46).
Cue a mass brawl, with goalscoring hero Rokutan running the length of the pitch to get involved once again. On this occasion, however, he stepped up for his team by allowing himself to be thrown about five metres into the air by a furious Wellington before rolling around on the grass approximately 600 times. Rumour has it he’s still rolling.
Either way, he needed have bothered. The referee, ever willing to give the people what they want, had already delightedly shown Wellington his second yellow in less than three minutes. Hit the road pal.
If every J-League game is like this, we’re all in.
Watch the video below. The action really gets going around 7:25, so if the video doesn’t auto-start then, feel free to skip ahead.