Stielike sacked after latest Korea defeat

Uli Stielike has been relieved of his duties as South Korea head coach following their surprise 3-2 defeat to Qatar in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Lee convened a meeting to discuss the issue.

Stielike's dismissal, which was confirmed at Thursday's meeting of the Korea Football Association (KFA) Technical Committee, comes with the East Asians now second in Group A of the third round of Asian qualifiers, seven points behind the already-qualified Islamic Republic of Iran, but crucially just one ahead of Uzbekistan in third.

"I believe we can produce better results with new people", he said. Stielike's contract was supposed to run until Korea's elimination at some stage during the upcoming World Cup, assuming it qualified.

Stielike's sacking completed a fall from grace for a man once dubbed "God-tielike" by South Korean fans for his successes after taking the helm in September 2014.

But trouble set in during Asia's final round of World Cup qualifiers, especially when they lost 0-1 to China in March - only their second loss to the Chinese in 32 games.

South Korea remains in second place in Group A with 13 points from four wins, a draw and three losses.

Their campaign concludes with a home match against Iran on August 31 before they travel to Uzbekistan for a potential do-or-die clash to close qualifying.

In Asian qualifying, the top two teams from each of the two groups will advance automatically to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

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

  • Leroy Wright