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Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:26 UK

Poland dismiss coach Beenhakker

Leo Beenhakker
Beenhakker's Poland have struggled in Group Three qualifying

Poland have sacked coach Leo Beenhakker after a 3-0 defeat in Slovenia all-but ended their hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Poles must win their last two Group Three qualifiers and hope other results go their way to avoid elimination.

Polish football's chief Grzegorz Lato said: "I don't want to make a rash decision but this cannot be changed. That was Leo's last game as coach."

Dutchman Beenhakker became Poland's first foreign coach in 2006.

He led the country to a first ever European Championship appearance in Austria and Switzerland last year.

However, Poland have won only three of their first eight qualifying games and lie fifth in their group.

Lato added: "We were terrible against Slovenia and something must change.

"We are now looking for a new coach, though we'll perhaps use a caretaker in our remaining qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Slovakia."

When asked about possible replacements for Beenhakker, Lato said the new coach would "definitely be a Pole".

Poland must win their remaining two games, away in the Czech Republic and at home to group leaders Slovakia, and rely on other results to have any chance of finishing second and qualifying for the eight-team play-offs.

However their hopes appear slim as Slovenia play San Marino, who have lost all nine of their games, in their final qualifier next month.

Belgium interim coach Frank Vercauteren has stepped down in the wake of his team's 2-1 defeat by Armenia which ended their hopes of reaching next year's World Cup finals.

Former Netherlands and Rangers manager Dick Advocaat agreed in July to take over as boss at the end of this year when his contract with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg expires.

A statement on the Belgian FA's official website read: "Contact was made with Dick Advocaat with a view to taking up his post early. He is considering the request."



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see also
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
World Cup 2010 map
05 Dec 09 |  Football
Poland 1-1 N Ireland
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals


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