Japan boss Okada gets dreaded vote of confidence

Okada's job was definitely on the line after a 1-0 defeat by Bahrain in a qualifier in March.

Stinging criticism from Japan's normally reserved media forced Okada into his shell and lent an edge to the coach's press conferences, one ending sharply after just three minutes.

Okada's second spell in charge of Japan had also looked like ending prematurely after players complained of not understanding the coach's tactics in Manama.

One night in Bangkok, however, and Okada's position appears untouchable, Saturday's 3-0 win over Thailand booking Japan's spot in the final round of Asian World Cup qualifiers.

Japan Football Association (JFA) chief Saburo Kawabuchi immediately tipped Okada to stay until after the 2010 World Cup.

"Obviously, it's a relief to go through," Kawabuchi told the Japanese media, refusing to entertain the notion Japan could still fail to reach the finals in South Africa.

"Of course we want Okada to continue as coach until the finals."

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