NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – Posta Rangers remained top of the Kenyan Premier League standings while safeguarding their unbeaten run after outsmarting Sofapaka 1-0 at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, moving to 21 points after nine rounds of matches.
At the Ruaraka Complex, defending champions Tusker FC continued with their resurgence, beating visitors Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0 courtesy of a Humphrey Mieno goal to pick up a third consecutive win and move fourth on the log.
In Awasi, the clash between Chemelil Sugar and Muhoroni Youth was called off due to heavy rains and the game will now be re-played on Sunday morning.
In Nakuru, log leaders Posta were lifted by a 75th minute Dennis Mukaisi goal after the experienced forward rose in to head a John Nairuka cross.
“It was a very tough game especially in the first half when Sofapaka pushed us so hard. But at the start of the second half, we made a tactical switch, bringing in Nairuka (John) and Obwoge (Jared), something that lifted our game especially offensively,” Posta Rangers head coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo told Capital Sport.
He added; “It is a huge motivation going for the ninth match without losing and also conceding only two goals. It has given the players a lot of belief because if you look at the matches we have played, they have not been easy.”
At the Ruaraka Complex in Nairobi, Humphrey Mieno struck in the 33rd minute as the brewers continued with their resurgence, giving head coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe a raise in confidence.
“We went back to the drawing board and decided as a team that we have to be serious in what we do and get results. We were a bit complacent at the start but now the seriousness has kicked in and we are performing. I am glad with how we are fairing and hopefully this gives us confidence to defend our title,” The Ugandan coach offered.
The brewers had a positive start with Mike Khamati forcing keeper David Juma into a save inside the first minute with a bouncing header from close range after racing to a Shafik Batambuze cross from the left.
The slippery nature of the pitch made the save difficult for Juma but his superb reflex saw him keep the ball out for a corner that went un-utilized.
The visitors too were giving in as much with a relaxed approach and had their first chance in the 12th minute when Opondo twisted and turned away from his markers inside the box but his low shot from the right was well handled by Duncan Ochieng in the Tusker goal.
Tusker had another opportunity in the 18th minute when Mieno’s shot on the volley from a difficult position missed the target by a few inches. Collins Shivachi’s cross had taken a deflection to land on Mieno’s path.
Homeboyz were guilty of missed chances, with Meshack Karani being at the heart of most misses. First he skewed a shot wide on the right after being played through by Wycliffe Opondo before skewing his shot wide.
He had an even better opportunity in the 24th minute when a David Okoth cross from theleft found him isolated at the far post but his attempt at a volley was awry, missing the ball entirely.
-Tusker up tempo-
Reading the signs that Homeboyz were looking for a goal at all costs, the hosts upped the tempo in attack. Though the light afternoon showers meant the game was played at a lower pace due to the slippery nature of the pitch, they gave it a push.
They were rewarded in the 33rd minute when Mieno tapped into an empty net after keeper David Juma had spilled a shot from centre back Marlon Tangauzi.
Tangauzi had started the move from deep his own half, playing a one-two with Collins SHivachi at the edge of the box before shooting low.
At the start of the second half, Homeboyz continued with their wasteful nature with Karani missing another golden opportunity just two minutes after the restart. The forward was put through by Opondo to face Ochieng one on one, but he blasted the ball over when it was hardest to miss than score.
Homeboyz pinned Tusker in their own half with Opondo having a shot go narrowly wide in the 56th minute. Two minutes later, Ochieng was forced into a full stretch save to deny Opondo who struck a low curling effort at the end of a good team play by the visitors.
The wasteful Karani was hauled off for Keiphas Mutuu in the73rd minute and he almost announced his arrival with a punch when he rose high to head in an Eston Esiye freekick but the effort went over.
Five minutes to the final whistle, Charles Momanyi’s strong header from another of Esiye’s deliveries came off the crossbar as Tusker continued living on the edge.
Seeing his side was tinkering on the possibility of dropping points, Nsimbe brought off Cercidy Lumumba for defender Martin Kiiza to successfully see off the match.