- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) - Sydney FC has fired coach Frank Farina just a few days after it was eliminated in the playoffs and finished fifth in the A-League.

Club chairman Scott Barlow issued a brief statement after a board meeting on Wednesday saying the former Australia and Brisbane Roar coach “joined in a difficult period last season and has always given his absolute dedication and commitment to the club.”

The 49-year-old Farina was unable to turn a squad containing Italian star Alessandro del Piero into a consistent, winning combination and narrowly missed his objective of a top-four finish after an away defeat to Melbourne Victory on the weekend in an elimination playoff.

He replaced Ian Crook in November 2012, initially on a short-term contract, before gaining a two-year extension last year after lifting the team from last place to sixth within three months.

Sydney will start the search for a new coach immediately.

The A-League semifinals are this weekend.

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