The Tokyo Gaijin?s brave charge at Tokyo Cup final glory came to an abrupt end on another rain-sodden day at the river-side Kizooch field. The semi-final, two weeks ago at the same mud-soaked venue, had left regular half-back Takashi Mutou with a dose of Weil?s disease. This sneaky bacteria, which kept Takashi out of the final, is secreted in the urine of rats, and there was clear evidence of rat?s urine on the pitch in the way the Gaijin played this game's first five minutes.
As expected, the semi-final of the Tokyo Cup provided this season?s hardest outing yet. The increasingly familiar Kizooch venue had been drenched by a week of rain, and standing water punctuated the mud slicks at the river-end of the fields. Strangely enough, it was in this slippery hinterland that all the scoring of a titanic match was to take place.
Sunday saw the Gaijin once more fit and ready for action at outer Tokyo?s hard-to-find Kizooch Field. The patter of rain on rice-paddy and the repeated wail of ambulances confirmed the location, and in a new and gleaming white kit an almost unchanged squad was determined to stay in contention for the cup.