Vissel Kobe terminate contract with coach Nelsinho

Vissel Kobe has sacked manager Nelsinho Baptista after the club slumped to a third consecutive loss with a 1-0 defeat by FC Tokyo on Sunday.

Despite having acquired former Germany striker Lukas Podolski, Kobe has struggled this season and is currently 11th in the 18-team J.League.

The Japanese top-flight club confirmed that head coach Takayuki Yoshida has replaced the Brazilian on an interim basis.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t achieve what we were aiming for, but I was able to see the team grow a lot toward earning a title in football,” Nelsinho said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

“As a professional, I feel greatly responsible for not being able to live up to everyone’s expectations.”

The 67-year-old took charge of Kobe in 2015 and guided them to a 12th-place finish in his first year.