Japan held to 0-0 draw by Zimbabwe

Japan Preparations: World Cup 2010

Things have gone from bad to worse to thoroughly miserable for Japan coach Takeshi Okada.

Four straight friendly defeats prompted Okada to organise a hastily scheduled training match against Zimbabwe overnight, but even that failed to yield relief as the Samurai Blue were held to a scoreless draw by the 110th-ranked African minnows.

Although the match was not listed as a full international, neither Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto, nor Shimizu S-Pulse star Shinji Okazaki managed to trouble the scorers, meaning
that Japan has now scored just once in the past five matches.

Okada has been under intense pressure following a string of dismal results, going so far as to tentatively offer his resignation to JFA President Motoaki Inukai following a 2-0 defeat to arch-rivals South Korea at Saitama Stadium.

That offer was summarily rebuked, but many are now wondering about the wisdom of appointing a coach who has already experienced three straight losses at a World Cup finals - with Okada the man in charge for Japan's maiden World Cup campaign at France '98.

Copyright © Mike Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com

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