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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan have sacked coach Jose Gonzalez after the club's poor start to the season left the former champions well adrift of leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.
Beijing's 1-0 defeat to Chongqing Lifan late on Friday was their fifth loss of the season and left them 13 points behind Guangzhou, who play bottom club Yanbian Funde on Saturday.
"Beijing Guoan's club board has decided that, as of 2 June 2017, Mr. Jose Gonzalez will no longer serve the club as head coach," the club said in a statement posted on Chinese social media.
"The Chinese coaching team will take over his responsibilities for the moment. Right now our team is in a very difficult situation, but we are confident we can bring it back on track in a very short time."
Gonzalez, who took over in January having previously worked as an assistant at the club, is the second coach to leave his post in three days after Choi Yong-soo stood down from his role at Jiangsu Suning.
Jiangsu, runners-up in the league and Chinese FA Cup last year, are currently just above the relegation zone and were eliminated from the Asian Champions League on Wednesday by fellow Chinese side Shanghai SIPG.
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Peter Rutherford