Japanese champion Kashima fires coach after Asian exit

In this Dec. 10, 2016 photo, then Kashima Antlers coach Masatada Ishii speaks during the official press conference at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament at Suita City Football Stadium in Suita, western Japan. Japanese champion Kashima has fired coach Ishii after the club was eliminated from the Asian Champions League. The Antlers announced Wednesday that Ishii will be replaced by Go Oiwa, who has been an assistant coach with Kashima since 2011. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
In this Dec. 14, 2016 photo, then, Kashima Antlers coach Masatada Ishii, center, prepares a match against Atletico Nacional at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament at Suita City Football Stadium in Suita, western Japan. Japanese champion Kashima has fired coach Ishii after the club was eliminated from the Asian Champions League. The Antlers announced Wednesday, May 31, 2017, that Ishii will be replaced by Go Oiwa, who has been an assistant coach with Kashima since 2011. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Japanese champion Kashima fired coach Masatada Ishii on Wednesday after the club was eliminated from the Asian Champions League.

The Antlers said Ishii will be replaced by Go Oiwa, who has been an assistant coach with Kashima since 2011.

Kashima beat Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 at home on Tuesday for a 2-2 aggregate score, but was eliminated on away goals and failed to advance to the quarterfinals of the continental club championship.

Ishii steered the team to the domestic title last year and the final of the 2016 Club World Cup, where Kashima lost in extra time to Real Madrid — the best result ever for an Asian team in the tournament.

The eight-time J-League champions are seventh in the domestic standings, six points behind leader Kashiwa Reysol. Midfielders Leo Silva and Yasushi Endo have been ruled out of action for several weeks with injuries.

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