Saudi Professional League: Al Ittihad wave goodbye to Jose Luis Sierra for a second time

Matt Monaghan 19:31 20/10/2019
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Jose Luis Sierra (EPA).

Jose Luis Sierra has departed fallen Saudi Professional League giants Al Ittihad for the second time in little more than a year.

Sierra, 50, was dismissed in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s 1-0 reversal at Al Wehda. This fourth loss in seven 2019/20 top-flight fixtures left the toothless Tigers down in eighth and only four points above the relegation zone, while last month they also were downed by rivals Al Hilal in the 2019 AFC Champions League’s quarter-finals.

The ex-Chile midfielder guided his former side to safety after he answered February’s alarm call, following Slaven Bilic’s woeful reign. He had previously won the 2017 Saudi Crown Prince Cup and 2018 King’s Cup, prior to departing for an ill-fated three-month stint at the Arabian Gulf League’s Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club once his deal was, surprisingly, not renewed.

Saudi Arabian Mohamed Abdali has been placed in temporary charge while they assess candidates to become the club’s fourth permanent manager since May 2018. Okaz newspaper has stated that negotiations have been opened with Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic.

“The Board of Directors of at Al Ittihad, headed by Mr Anmar bin Abdullah Al Ha’ili, have decided to sack Chilean coach Luis Sierra as coach,” a statement read. “We give thanks to him.”

“The Board of Directors clarifies that the decision to dismiss him was a result of the negative results achieved by the team.

“The council announced the appointment of Saudi national Mohamed Abdali to lead the team at the present stage.”

Ittihad are next scheduled to visit the UAE’s Al Wasl on Wednesday in an Arab Club Champions Cup round-of-16 opener.

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