08.09.2014 12:27 h

Japan's Cerezo fire second manager this season

Marco Pezzaiuoli
Marco Pezzaiuoli

Nose-diving Japanese club Cerezo Osaka sacked their second manager of the season on Monday when they gave German Marco Pezzaiuoli the elbow after less than three months in charge.

The Osaka side said they had promoted youth coach Yuji Okuma to take Pezzaiuoli's place after they were dumped out of the J-League Cup by Kawasaki Frontale.

Cerezo president Masao Okano told reporters: "The manager has done his best since June but unfortunately the results have not been there. The goal has to be to keep our place in the first division, which is why we have had to make this tough decision."

Pezzaiuoli failed to win a single game since replacing Ranko Popovic during the World Cup break, with Cerezo slumping to 16th in the standings after a winless run and in real danger of the drop.

The club signalled its intent for this season's J-League title by signing Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, but the former Manchester United forward has failed to spark while Japan marksman Yoichiro Kakitani's transfer to Basel has not helped Cerezo's cause.

Cerezo, who had preseason championship ambitions with the signing of Forlan, have not won in 11 straight games, their last victory dating back to May 3.

Okuma's side host Kashiwa Reysol on Saturday, when the league resumes after the international break.