China have won the East Asian Championship for the second time in five years, with Gao Hongbo’s team securing their success with a 2-0 win over Hong Kong.
Qu Bo scored twice – including one from the penalty spot – to give China the expected win against the former British colony and leave Japan needing to defeat Korea by two clear goals to have any chance of claiming the trophy for the first time.
Despite taking the lead through a Yasuhito Endo penalty, Japan lost 3-1 to Huh Jung-moo’s side – a result that takes the pressure off Huh and puts it squarely on the shoulders of Japan coach Takeshi Okada.
Huh was a relieved man at the post-match press conference while Okada declared he had no intention of standing down from his position and that, ultimately, the decision regarding his future rested with the Japan Football Association.
JFA president Motoaki Inukai, however, told Japanese media he had no intention of firing Okada so close to the World Cup finals.
After a series of disappointing displays, though, Okada needs to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk if Japan are not going to be embarrassed in South Africa in June.