Struggling Sundowns sack Neeskens

Struggling South African league side Mamelodi Sundowns have sacked their Dutch coach Johan Neeskens, following yesterday's 1-0 League Cup final defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic, the club announced today.

"He sacrificed and worked hard for the success of the Club. Johan will always have a special place at Mamelodi Sundowns," said Sundowns' owner Patrice Motsepe.

The club have not won any silverware in two seasons under Neeskens, and this year lost out twice in tournaments after reaching the finals. Despite talented players the team languishes second from the bottom of the premiership table.

Former South African coach Pitso Mosimane was appointed as Neeskens' replacement. "Pitso's first major task is to ensure that we win games and finish in a respectable position in the Premier Soccer League," said Motsepe, who acknowledged "our current position on the log is extremely embarrassing".

Neeskens gained global fame as midfielder for the Dutch team that were runners-up in the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cup™. He previously was assistant coach at Barcelona. Mosimane was sacked from the national team in June following seven straight winless games, and the team's failure to qualify for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.