TOKYO Japanese champions Kashima Antlers have sacked Masatada Ishii, the coach who steered the club to the domestic title and the runners-up position at the FIFA Club World Cup last year, following their elimination from the Asian Champions League.
Kashima defeated two-time Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande at Kashima Soccer Stadium on Tuesday evening but were eliminated on the away goals rule after the pair shared a 2-2 aggregate draw over the two legs.
The club announced on its official website on Wednesday that Ishii would be replaced by Go Oiwa, who has worked as an assistant coach at the club.
Ishii, who played for Kashima before being appointed head coach ahead of the 2015 season, won the J League title last season as Antlers defeated Urawa Red Diamonds in the championship playoff.
Kashima also reached the final of the FIFA Club World Cup under Ishii, where they lost in extra-time to Real Madrid, the best performance ever by an Asian club in the competition.
(The story was refiled to correct the name of the new coach in paragraph 3 to Go Oiwa, not Takeshi Ogawa)
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)