• Kyodo

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Czech coach Ivan Hasek has stepped down as coach of struggling J. League first-division side Vissel Kobe after seven months in charge, club officials said Monday.

The departure of Hasek, 41, came as Kobe languish in 15th place in the 16-team table after seven matches in the league’s second stage following their 12th-place finish in the first stage.

Hasek played for J. League sides Sanfrecce Hiroshima and JEF United Ichihara. His coaching career includes stints with Sparta Prague and French club Strasbourg.

Vissel youth team coach Hiroaki Matsuyama will take over as caretaker coach for Kobe’s next league match Saturday at Tokyo Verdy.

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