NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9- Kepha Aswani stepped off the bench to score two goals in two minutes as Nakumatt FC beat Posta Rangers 2-0 at the Ruaraka Complex on Saturday afternoon to extinguish the mailmen’s minute title hopes.
Deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime, Aswani came on at the start of the second half replacing Kevin Thairu, and he proved his worth with two goals in the 71st and 73rd minutes, not only giving his side maximum points but taking his season tally of goals to 10.
Posta Rangers, third with 35 points had hoped to pick three points and narrow the gap between them and leaders Gor Mahia, but the loss more or less leaves them way off the pace.
Nakumatt up their bid for a top eight finish at the end of the season with the vital win coming off a run of three winless matches lifting them a spot up to 10th.
Both sides had equal chances in the opening half, but Posta should have created more with the huge number of set pieces they won on either flank of the pitch.
It was Nakumatt who had the opening chances of the game, both falling on Tanzanian midfielder David Naftali. In the 11th minute, the midfielder dribbled his way to the edge of the Posta box and unleashed a vicious shot which went straight to Patrick Matasi.
Two minutes later, Naftali had an even better chance, sneaking in between the Posta backline to head in from a Peter Nzuki freekick from the right but the effort went inches over the bar.
Posta’s first chance came in the 19th minute and it was one of the best of the half when Gaerson Likonoh sneaked in behind the defense to connect to a Simon Mbugua cross, but his bouncing header six yards off the target went over.
Omollo’s men had been slowly growing into the game but were undone by some suspect passing and ball control. In the 21st minute, Jerry Santo tried his luck from distance, unleashing a shot that was well saved by the Nakumatt keeper.
The mailmen continued controlling the game, winning set pieces especially off the left wing with Nicholas Mejja guilty of giving away many freekicks. However, Posta who have been known as a team dangerous on dead balls failed to create danger.
Seven minutes from half time, some good build up by Nakumatt on the left saw John Njoroge break into the box with the left back’s thunderous shot coming off the upright with Matasi left rooted to his spot.
Aswani showed glimpses of what was to be expected from him, getting two quick chances in the 59th and 61st minutes. First, his header from an Oyoo cross went wide at the near post while the second chance two minutes later also off an Oyoo cross was wide with a diving header.
In the 65th minute, Joseph Mbugi had a well taken effort with a freekick from the right but was turned behind for a corner, while on the other end, Matasi pulled a decent block to deny Akenga with a close range shot.
Nakumatt then made their second half impression count within a space of two minutes. Aswani slapped the ball past Matasi inside the box after picking a decent cut back from Oyoo who had drove in on the left after stealing the ball off Geoffrey Kataka.
In Sublime fashion, Aswani completed his brace with a sublime volley inside the box, connecting the ball from a Clinton Kisiavuki cross completely unmarked inside the box.