NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23- Meddie Kagere’s 22nd minute goal handed Gor Mahia a 1-0 win over Posta Rangers in a tough Kenyan Premier League tie at Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday evening as Dylan Kerr maintained his 100 percent record since taking over as K’Ogalo coach.
The record 15-time champions however had to endure a nervous second half as they were pushed behind by the mailmen who forced them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
The result sees K’Ogalo maintain a six point buffer at the top of the KPL standings with a match in hand as they continue their mission to wrestle the league crown off Tusker FC.
Not even the slippery pitch and the extremely cold weather at Kasarani could dampen the spirit of the two teams who engaged in a high intensity game, each giving in as much as they received.
It was a frantic start to the match with Wellington Ochieng being forced to clear the ball from the line inside the opening two minutes after Dennis Mukaisi’s ball had skipped over keeper Peter Odhiambo.
On the other end, Patrick Matasi produced a fine finger tip save to turn a ferocious shot from Godfrey Walusimbi behind for a corner that was well dealt with by the Posta defense.
Gor were exploiting the left side of Posta’s defense with Karim Nizigiyimana and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo using their speed to create space and float in the crosses. Twice they managed to bring in very inviting balls inside the box but Matasi proved equal to the task.
Odhiambo had a clean effort well collected by Matasi on the quarter hour mark when he glided in to the top of the area from the right slicing a low swirling shot.
Five minutes later, Meddie Kagere picked up a low ball from Nizigiyimana on the right at the near post but his cut back found no one in the box with Matasi beaten. On the other end, Kennedy Otieno’s shot from distance was picked up by Peter Odhiambo despite spilling it at the first take.
Gor ultimately broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Kagere finished off from a tight angle. Kenneth Muguna who has been embroiled in a transfer saga between him and his former coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira who wants to take him to Albania was the creator of the goal.
The midfielder outmuscled Jerry Santo for the ball in midfield, strode forward before sliding in a neat through ball to Kagere who made no mistake squeezing in the ball into Matasi’s near post.
Posta gave in a fight with as much intensity, hunting in for the equalizer but Gor Mahia’s defense was astute. Kenneth Wendo put in a shift manning his defensive midfield role with utmost finesse, winning most of the balls while Muguna did the distribution.
The mailmen kept their surge on and Otieno came close with a swirling freekick from distance which went inches over with Odhiambo in the Gor goal well beaten.
K’Ogalo should have wound up the half two up but they missed a glorious chance. Walusimbi tore up on the left to break into the box but the quality of his finish didn’t match the quality of his run as he blasted the ball over with only Matasi to beat.
Posta started the second half on the front foot pressing Gor into their own half. Keeper Odhiambo almost erred to gift the mailmen a lead when his late clearance from a backpass was blocked by Mukaisi, but luckily for him the ball ricocheted against his body.
On the other end, Gor’s first chance in the second half was via a Kagere shot from distance which was punched away by Matasi who recoevered again to pick the spills off a rushing Jacques Tuyisenge.
Posta kept pushing and pushing in search of the equalizer and their momentum was punctured in the 65th minute when the game was stopped for close to five minutes due to faulty floodlights.
Upon resumption, Sammy Omollo’s men kept their surge. Erick Kibiru and Mukaisi had their long range shots saved by Odhiambo while Jerry Santo’s header from a Titus Achesa freekick went over by inches.