Japan head coach Takeshi Okada said he welcomed a show of unity after his under-fire players asked if they could link arms during the national anthem before their opening World Cup clash with Cameroon.
The Japanese played a team-orientated brand of football against the Indomitable Lions and came away with a 1-0 win to kickstart their 2010 campaign perfectly.
Okada said his players were very determined to win the match and their show of unity seemed to help.
"We knew Cameroon would be physically strong and so it proved. But my players had a strong motivation to do well," Okada said.
"They asked me before the match if they could stand with shoulders linked at the national anthem. I thought it was a good idea."