Tokyo World Cup viewers nearly trip up plumbing with half-time toilet break

When it's your country's turn to play in the World Cup, you don't move from the TV until the break.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read

Tokyo, Japan's capital, flutters with nervous excitement. Welcome to the 2018 World Cup. Your first game is against South American firecracker Colombia. You've never beaten them before. No Asian country has defeated a South American country in the World Cup. Ever.

The whistle blows.

And PENALTY!!! Three minutes in, Colombia's Moreno purposefully blocks a shot with his hand and the referee slaps him with a red card.

Japan's Kagawa steps up to take it. With a ballsy move, he aims down the middle -- and slots it home. Class. Japan explode. 1-0.

They're doing well. Half time approaches. There's minutes to go. Drink, recover the fluids lost from the steaming heat.

Don't give a free kick to Colombia.

Hearts stop. Quintero lines it up. He sweeps the ball toward the near post and... it trickles in under Japan's goalie's arms.

Not the best, but not the worst way to go into half time. And with their applause, came the sound of a million flushes as viewers in Tokyo watching the live broadcast rushed to relieve themselves in the half-time break. Water use jumped an alarming 24 percent in the city, the Japan Times reported this weekend.

"We presume it's because a lot of people holding off on a trip to the bathroom all went at once," an official said to the Times.

The waterworks bureau, anticipating the toilet dash, adjusted the city's supply and pressure accordingly to avoid catastrophe, according to the Times.

Quick! Game's back on. Bums off toilets, back in front of the TV.

It kicks off. Japan have all the possession. Time ticks away. But still, they can't seem to score.

Until -- corner. Honda lifts it in. Left foot, swinging away from Colombia's keeper.

Osako leaps, Osako beats three defenders, Osako glances the ball in.

GOOOAAALLL!!! Japan become the first Asian nation to beat a side from South America.

And Tokyo, revelling in the glory their team has brought to their country, head to the toilet once more, this time causing a whopping 50 percent jump in water use, breaking personal bests all round.

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