x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Shaab fire coach Sergio Alexandre after run of defeats

The Pro League side, which has won just two of their 13 games since promotion in the summer, say a new appointment will be made in the coming days.

Former Al Shaab manager Sergio Alexandre.
Former Al Shaab manager Sergio Alexandre.

DUBAI // Al Shaab have sacked their coach Sergio Alexander and will be announcing a replacement in the coming days.

The decision was made after an emergency meeting of the club's technical committee on Saturday night, following the 3-0 loss at home to Al Shabab, which was Shaab's tenth defeat in the 13 rounds of the Pro League.

Shaab, who finished third in Division One last season, qualified for the Pro League through the four-team playoffs after the UAE Football Association decided on increasing the number of teams in the country's top division to 14 from 12.

Sergio was at the helm as Shaab finished ahead of Sharjah and Emirates in the playoffs, but the Sharjah club have struggled in the Pro League after a promising start that saw them win two of their first three matches. In the following 10 matches, they could get only one point courtesy a draw against Al Dhafra.

The team's disappointing performance led to calls for Sergio's dismissal and Shaab fans could be heard chanting "Leave Sergio" at their matches. The club management, however, had stood firmly behind their coach, but the lack of wins eventually forced their hand.

Sergio is the fifth Pro League coach to lose his job this season. Kalba have dismissed two - Dragan Talajic and Lotfi Benzarti - and former Al Wasl boss Ze Mario is leading the team now. Al Dhafra have parted ways with Dzemal Hadziabdic and appointed Laurent Banide in his place. Dibba Al Fujairah have also made a change, sacking Marcelo Cabo and giving the reins of the team to former UAE national team coach Abdullah Misfir.

There has been a change at Al Wasl as well, but Bruno Metsu stepped down as coach because of his illness and Guy Lacombe was appointed in his place.

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