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Soccer: Cerezo manager Lotina to leave at end of season

Cerezo Osaka manager Miguel Angel Lotina gives instructions to his players during the second half of a Levain Cup group-stage match against Vegalta Sendai on Aug. 12, 2020, at Yurtec Stadium in Sendai, northeastern Japan. (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Cerezo Osaka manager Miguel Angel Lotina will step down at season's end, the J-League first division club said Friday without naming a successor.

    The Spaniard, formerly in charge of Celta among other clubs back home, managed Tokyo Verdy in the J2 for two seasons from 2017 before taking the reins at Cerezo last year. In 2019, the club conceded a J1-fewest 25 goals en route to a fifth-place finish.

    The 63-year-old currently has the club in fourth place on 52 points with 16 wins, nine losses and four draws, three points behind third-placed Nagoya Grampus with a game in hand as they chase a spot in next year's Asian Champions League.

    Cerezo went out of the League Cup in the quarterfinals.

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