Chinese Super League contenders Beijing Guoan have sacked fiery South Korean coach Lee Jan-Soo with only seven matches left of the season.
Lee, 52, was dismissed following a 2-0 loss to rivals Changchun Yatai on Tuesday, the club announced on its website. Club manager Hong Yuanshou has been named to replace Lee.
Beijing are in a three-way tie for second place with Changchun and Shandong Luneng in the Super League standings with 36 points apiece, but Changchun have the advantage with more victories. Henan Jianye lead the league with 38 points.
Lee, who won China's Football Association Cup in 2002 with Qingdao, led Guoan to a second place finish in the 2007/08 season, but dropped to third in the last campaign.
"The decision was made out of the interests of the team and the hope that we can win the championship," Guoan's chairman of the board Luo Ning told the Beijing Morning Post. "We also made this decision after considering the overall situation, including his (Lee's) control of the team and match tactics."