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Third-place Porto fires coach

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=== Third-place Porto fires coach ===

Porto, Portugal (Betting Express) - In what seemed to be a surprising move, Porto fired head coach Victor Fernandez on Tuesday after just six months at the helm.

"The minimum conditions were not met by Victor Fernandez to remain the head coach at FC Porto, although he demonstrated persistence while he was in command of the club," said a team official on the club's website.

The Spanish coach inked a two-year deal in August with the club. He replaced Luigi Del Neri after the Italian coach was sacked before he ever coached an official game for the club. Both Del Neri and Fernandez had big shoes to fill after Jose Mourinho led Porto to Champions League and Superliga triumphs last season. Mourinho left after the conclusion of the previous campaign to take the job at English power Chelsea. A host of prominent players also followed Mourinho away from Porto during the summer.

The 44-year-old Fernandez guided Porto to a win in December's World Cup final versus Once Caldas and also took his team through the Champions League first knockout round, but the team has been down for its standards this season in Superliga action. Porto sits in third place with 34 points through 19 games this season, only winning one of its last five home matches.

No replacement has been named yet by Porto, but various reports claim that the team is interested in Vitoria FC coach Jose Couceiro.

February 1, 2005, at 12:22 PM ET
<-- Porto inks Mejolaro
Couceiro called upon at Porto -->

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