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By ESPN Staff

Fourth coach leaves Brazilian strugglers Santa Cruz

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Mauricio Simoes has become the fourth coach this year to leave struggling Brazilian side Santa Cruz, the club said on Monday.

Simoes, who had been in charge for 12 games, quit after after Sunday's 3-1 home defeat to Sao Paulo left the Recife-based team bottom of the Brazilian championship with 18 points from 22 games.

'He took the decision to resign and we accepted,' said club president Romerito Jatoba.

Giba, Givanildo and Valdir Espinoza had previously occupied the hot seat at the newly-promoted club this year.

Thirty-three coaches have resigned or been sacked at Brazilian first division clubs since the season started in January.

Seven of the casualties were last month, including Paulo Cesar Gusmao who was sacked by Cruzeiro and then left Sao Caetano by mutual consent in the space of two weeks.