NAIROBI, Kenya, August 22- Paul Kiongera gave KCB a perfect farewell gift after netting the winning goal against KRA in a 1-0 victory that lifted them off the relegation zone in a Kenyan Premier League match played Friday at Nairobi City Stadium.
Kiongera, who is set to join Tanzanian giants Simba SC when the Vodacom league kicks-off this weekend, scored the all important goal in the14th minute after heading home his fifth of the season.
That hauled the Bankers up to 14th on the log with 18 points above Nairobi City Stars who dropped to the relegation zone on goal difference.
“We are happy we have won, it gives us confidence going forward. If we continue winning I’m sure we will survive in the KPL.
“The team is building well from behind and our game plan of keeping the ball is working so we just need to win the rest of our matches and we will be safe,” Kiongera said post-match.
He is set to re-unite with former Gor Mahia team mates; keeper Ivo Mapunda and defender Donald Mosoti in Simba on September 1.
The Bankers made three changes, bringing back John Odhiambo, Ronald Musana and Raymond Murugi and went on to outclass the taxmen who had the defensive pair of Douglas Okumu and Edwin Misiko as well as midfielder Barrack Odhiambo as the fresh faces in their squad.
The first half turned literally into a Kiongera versus KRA with the forward tormenting the ruthlessly exposed keeper, Phillip Odhiambo.
The pair faced up for the first time in the 11th minute with Odhiambo making the save but could not do nothing 180 seconds later when Kiongera headed in the opener after connecting a Murugi cross from the left.
Midfielder Benjamin Chaka could have doubled the lead in the 19th with his long-range howitzer that beat Odhiambo all ends up but missed the target by inches.
A minute later, the overworked custodian denied Kiongera his brace after parrying his powerful header for a fruitless corner before repelling the same forward’s header minutes later.
Kiongera and Murugi combined well to expose Ken Kenyatta’s but yet again, Odhiambo stood tall between the sticks.
With a quarter an hour to the break, the Jomo Kenyatta University student was at it again after he found space to unleash a thunderbolt that forced the custodian to stretch full length to punch it out.
After the break, KCB elected to sit on their lead and despite new life in KRA; it was Murugi who came closest to extend the lead on 78 on the breakaway but in following the tale of the match, Odhiambo repelled the challenge.
Kenyatta introduced Robert Binja for Barrack but his charges could not rally in the closing stages to at least rescue a point as KCB enjoyed the welcome view of the table above the drop zone.