Struggling Cologne fires coach Achim Beierlorzer

CIAR�?N FAHEY (Associated Press)
The Associated Press
Duesseldorf's Alfredo Morales, left, and Erik Thommy, right, challenge for the ball with Cologne's Louis Schaub, center, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and 1.FC Cologne in Duessledorf, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Roland Weihrauch/dpa via AP)
Duesseldorf's Alfredo Morales, left, and Erik Thommy, right, challenge for the ball with Cologne's Louis Schaub, center, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and 1.FC Cologne in Duessledorf, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Roland Weihrauch/dpa via AP)

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) -- Bundesliga team Cologne fired coach Achim Beierlorzer on Saturday following its last-gasp defeat to Hoffenheim the day before.

The German club says Andre Pawlak and Manfred Schmid will take over ''in the interim.''

Cologne's 2-1 defeat on Friday was its eighth loss in 11 league games. Cologne is in the relegation zone and in danger of a swift return to the second division after being promoted as second-division champion last season.

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Cologne's new sporting director Frank Aehlig says, ''I regret that we've had to take this step, because we value Achim Beierlorzer very highly. However, the hoped for sporting success hasn't been achieved so far.''

Aehlig only took over as sporting director from Armin Veh on Friday. The club said Veh's departure was agreed by mutual consent.

Cologne was knocked out of the German Cup by fourth-tier Saarbrucken on Oct. 29.

Beierlorzer was appointed in the summer after two successful years at Jahn Regensburg. His last game at Regensburg was a 5-3 win over Cologne.

Beierlorzer is the second coach to lose his job in the Bundesliga this season. Bayern Munich fired Niko Kovac last weekend.

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