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Goodbye Connor


Caps United manager Sean Connor and his entire technical team were fired last night after they lost their fourth consecutive Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match 3-2 to Hwange at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.

He has been replaced by former Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro.

Connor’s reign lasted just 16 games after signing a two-year contract with the former champions.
His assistants Lloyd Chitembwe, Kennedy Nagoli, goalkeeper’s coach Richard Tswatswa and welfare manager Joel Luphahla, all depart with the Northern Irishman from the Green Machine.

The 2004 and 2005 champions face Highlanders next week and club vice-president Farai Jere says a new coach will be appointed before the match.
Daniel Kamhunenga converted for the coalminers in the 23rd minute before Nyasha Mukumbi levelled in the 43rd minute.

The hosts then took the lead in the 58th minute through double scorer Gilbert Zulu before Caps equalised again through Leonard Fiyado in the 73rd minute.

But Zulu would have the last say, netting in the 90th minute to send Connor back to Northern Ireland.

This means Caps lost to Hwange in back to back clashes after going down 2-1 at Gwanzura last month. Other losses were by 1-0 scorelines to bitter rivals Highlanders and Dynamos.

Having survived the axe twice amid reported fissures with assistant manager Lloyd Chitembwe, there was no chance that Connor could survive this time around with club vice-president Farai Jere saying last night he was “sick and tired”.
He told NewsDay Sport: “What else do they want me to do? This is just stressful and I am sick and tired of all this.

“Just look at the last 10 matches, we have been conceding goals in the last 10 minutes and the coaches have been doing nothing about that. We hired a coach to do his job and he failed, so the entire technical team goes.

“We play brilliant football, dominate but it’s always the last 10 minutes that cost us in all the games. Maybe if it were one or two matches, but not 10. Maybe they needed luck, but football cannot be all about luck.”

He added: “What pains me most is that we have provided all the motivation that they needed. They have cars while in the past coaches used public transport.

“It is very sad for a team like Caps United to be struggling like this.”

On the Highlanders match and new coach, Jere said: “We will hire a local coach because coaches know these players in and out. Even if we were playing Highlanders on Thursday it does not matter, this is just like another team and they (Highlanders) can be beaten.”

Later last night Jere met with team president Twine Phiri and approved Mangwiro’s appointment.
Yesterday’s loss left Caps United languishing in 9th position with five wins, four draws and seven losses. They have 19 points, 17 off leaders Highlanders.

At the Colliery yesterday, before he knew his fate Connor said match officials had cost his team.
“I am very disappointed with the officials, the penalty changed the whole complexion of the game, it was an unfair decision.”

Hwange coach Tennant Chilumba said he was happy with the performance of his boys. “It was a great performance from my boys overall, we have managed two wins in a row and we managed to keep our concentration high. I am very happy”.

Referee Brighton Malandule awarded a penalty to Chipangano in the 23rd minute adjudging that Clive Kawinga had pulled down Zulu in the box. Kamunhenga made no mistake from the spot.

Caps were awarded a free kick in the 43rd minute on the edge of the box and a nice curling free kick from Rahman Kutsanzira was met by Mukumbi to level scores.

Zulu made it 2-1 in the 58th minute from a counter attack as he waltzed past Douglas Walaza to beat Edmore Sibanda with a powerful shot. Caps’ Fiyado headed home a David Rediyoni corner to level the matters before Zulu’s sucker punch in the 90th minute.

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