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Advantage Gor Mahia as Ulinzi, Posta draw

Ulinzi Stars striker Stephen Waruru goes down under a challenge from Posta Rangers’ Joseph Mbugi in a Kenyan premier League match at the Thika Stadium on September 17, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

THIKA, Kenya, Sep 17- Gor Mahia’s match towards their record 16th Kenyan Premier League title was aided when two possible title contenders Ulinzi Stars and Posta Rangers played to a 0-0 draw at the Thika Sub-County Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

With Sofapaka also drawing 0-0 with Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday, Gor are now in a race of their own enjoying a comfortable 11 point lead at the top.

Both Posta and Ulinzi Stars had brilliant scoring opportunities in either half but the bug of poor finishing bite both sides again after squandering clear cut chances.

Posta, winless in their last six matches had the best start to the match, clearly all their ambition pegged on getting their promising season back on track.

Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo was disappointed with the result especially his forward line who have now failed to score in four consecutive games.

“We had the game today. We played very well as per our tactics but again we could not use our chances. Within the first three minutes we should have killed this game. In the second half I tried something different bringing in Erick (Kibiru) for Mukaisi because he hadn’t clicked in today. It worked a bit but again the final ball was always lacking,” the tactician told Capital Sport after the game.

Posta Rangers defender Titus Achesa goes down under a challenge from Ulinzi Stars’ Brian Birgen. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

His opposite number Benjamin Nyangweso was pleased with the point away from home but just like Omollo, he was left ruing missed chances.

“It is very disheartening when you get very clear chances and fail to score especially on things we have worked on in training. But it is a point gained because we are playing away from home,” Nyangweso said after the match.

Within the opening three minutes of the game, the Sammy Omollo charges had the best two chances of the opening half. In the first minute, Posta won a freekick on the right ti see John Nairuka float it in but Jockins Atudo’s thumping header from close range was kept out by Ulinzi Stars shot-stopper Jacktone Odhiambo.

Two minutes later, Odhiambo gave a gift to his former team-mate Nairuka after his attempted pass back to defender Mohammed Hassan was intercepted by the Posta winger, but the keeper managed to redeem himself denying Nairuka at close range.

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Posta had started the match with so much pace dominating play and attacking in pace and numbers. However, they could not find the right key to unlock the Ulinzi defense which was kept on toes throughout.

Posta won many set-pieces including Luke Ochieng’s long throws, but still they could not maximize and create danger.

Posta Rangers defender Titus Achesa goes down under a challenge from Ulinzi Stars’ Brian Birgen. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

Ulinzi grew into the game slowly and though they did not trouble Patrick Matasi at the Posta goal, they did manage a few efforts at goal. Churchill Muloma twice tried his luck from distance but both efforts went wide.

Stephen Waruru, who has stagnated at 11 goals since the second last match of the first leg, was isolated and failed to have much of an impact.

-Second half-

In the second half Omollo started by making two subs, bringing out Dennis Mukaisi and Edwin Mwaura for Erick Kibiru and Joseph Nyaga, like for like changes that would add more pace into the attack.

Atudo’s aerial strength came to play again in the 55th minute when he latched on to a corner at the back-post but his pointblank header went straight to Jackton Odhiambo.

The game became even with both sides putting much in attack. But it was Ulinzi who had the best final chances of the game.

In the 75th minute, Kasuti had perhaps what could rank as the miss of the year when he tapped the ball wide with a gaping goalmouth after being picked out by a cutback from Oscar Wamala.

Four minutes later, Kasuti had another chance when he failed to pounce on a spilled ball from Matasi.

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