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Korea coach Stielike fired

Korea coach Stielike fired

Uli Stielike was on Thursday sacked as the head coach of South Korea's men's football team in the wake of its World Cup qualifying defeat to Qatar.

"In mutual consent with head coach Uli Stielike, we will terminate the contract", Lee Yong-soo, KFA's head technical director, said during the press conference held after the meeting on Thursday.

Tuesday's 2-3 loss was South Korea's first loss to Qatar in 32 years. They remain second in Group A, seven points behind already-qualified Iran but just one ahead of Uzbekistan.

A two-leg play-off against the third-place team in Asia Group B would be required, with the victor then advancing to an intercontinental play-off against a team from CONCACAF in another home-and-away series for a spot at Russian Federation 2018. Two third-place teams must go through playoffs for their final chance.

Stielike's reign started brightly, highlighted by Korea Republic's run to the 2015 Asian Cup final without conceding a goal, where they were eventually defeated by hosts Australia in extra time.

The new Premier League season kicks off in eight weeks' time, on August 12, and South Korea have crunch World Cup qualifiers on August 31 and September 5.

"I don't know details of the contract between the KFA and Stielike", he said. "Stielike said that he respects any decision reached by the technical committee", he added. "I'm also in the position to bring results, but couldn't produce what we wanted".

The KFA has not decided who will take over as coach for the final two qualifiers.

The latest defeat came in Doha on Wednesday (AEST) as Qatar - which can not qualify for the tournament in Russian Federation - sprung a surprise, the reversal leaving South Korea only one point ahead of Uzbekistan in third.

South Korean media have speculated about possible replacements including Huh Jung Moo, who led the team to the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup, and Under-20 coach Shin Tae Young. But Korea has struggled in recent matches.


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