Dunga fired as Brazil coach

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Dunga is out as coach of Brazil’s national soccer team.

The coach and his staff were fired Sunday, two days after Brazil was beaten by the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals.

The announcement was made by the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF). The decision was widely expected after the 2-1 loss to the Dutch. Brazil led 1-0 on Robinho’s first-half goal, but allowed two goals and had a player sent off in a dismal second-half performance in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“With the closing of the work cycle that started in August 2006 and ended with the elimination of Brazil from the World Cup in South Africa, the CBF announces the dismissal of the Technical Commission of the Brazilian team,” the federation said in a statement.

A new coach will be appointed before the end of the month, CBF said.

Former Brazil player Mano Menezes, AC Milan coach Leonardo and Wanderley Luxemburgo are being mentioned as potential successors to Dunga.

Luiz Felipe Scolari, who coached Brazil to its fifth World Cup title in 2002, had been mentioned as a successor, but he has signed a two-year deal to be with the Brazilian club Palmeiras.

The new coach and his staff are likely to face several exhibition matches in the next few months and then the South American championship — the Copa America — in 2011 in Argentina.

Dunga returned to Brazil with the team early Sunday and was met with applause and cheering by fans in his native Porto Alegre in southern Brazil.

Brazil will host the World Cup in 2014 for the first time since 1950.