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By ESPN Staff

Mizrahi stands in for kidnapped Romano

MEXICO CITY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Isaac Mizrahi, briefly in charge of Cruz Azul when coach Ruben Omar Romano was kidnapped earlier this year, has been given the job on a full-time basis after Romano's sacking last week.

Cruz Azul vice-president Victor Garces told reporters Mizrahi had been appointed at a meeting on Wednesday night and had already been told what would be expected in the Clausura championship which starts in January.

'We've told him he has to reach the semi-finals,' Garces said.

Romano was fired last Friday less than three months after the end of his kidnap ordeal.

The Argentine coach was snatched by a group of heavily armed men shortly after leaving a training session on July 19 and released unharmed by Mexican police on Sept. 21. He was back in charge of the team three days later.

Under Mizrahi, Cruz Azul made a flying start to the Apertura championship, winning seven games and drawing one. But they suffered a lapse in form when Romano returned and were eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals by Toluca.

Mizrahi, a close friend of Romano's, said there were no hard feelings between the two.

'I spoke to Ruben....and he supported me,' Mizrahi told the radio station Estadio W. 'He said there was no problem, that it was my decision.'