Football: Former South Korea coach Stielike takes over at Chinese strugglers Tianjin Teda

South Korea's head coach Ulrich Stielike before the 2018 World Cup football qualifying match on March 28, 2017.
South Korea's head coach Ulrich Stielike before the 2018 World Cup football qualifying match on March 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Uli Stielike has been tasked with saving Tianjin Teda from relegation out of the Chinese Super League (CSL), three months after the German was axed as coach of South Korea.

Underlining the challenge facing the 62-year-old, Tianjin lost 1-3 at second-placed Shanghai SIPG on Saturday (Sept 9) and sit one place off the bottom of the CSL with seven games left.

Fellow German coaches Felix Magath and Roger Schmidt are already in the CSL, at Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan respectively.

"We look forward under Mr. Stielike's leadership to being fearless and brave and not giving up, and completing the mission of staying in the league," Tianjin said in a statement announcing his appointment at the weekend.

"He has rich coaching experience and is good at motivating the team. He also has a certain understanding of Asian culture."

Stielike was in charge of South Korea from 2014 until his sacking in June following a shock defeat to Qatar that left their World Cup qualification hopes hanging in the balance.

South Korea appointed Shin Tae Yong to replace him and last week they sealed a spot at Russia 2018.

Stielike, a former Real Madrid midfielder, takes over at Tianjin from South Korean Lee Lim Saeng, who stepped down last month after just weeks in the job.