Gor Mahia to beat Posta Rangers in nervy mid-week duel

By alex wafula
Aug 23, 2017
  • Gor Mahia's Meddie Kagere beats Luke Ochieng Posta Pangers in a KPL midweek match. He scored the lone goal which saw Gor Mahia retain the top slot on the league table. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Edwin Wafula of Nzoia Sugar tackles Sofapaka's Ezekiel Okare who scored a goal for Batoto ba Mungu. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Gor Mahia coach, Dylan Kerr satisfied with a nervy 1-0 win against Posta Rangers. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Gor Mahia held on to a nervous second half on a slippery Kasarani Stadium pitch before seeing out a 1-0 win over Posta Rangers.

Meddie Kagere had given the 15-time Kenyan Premier League champions a 22nd minute lead, but they were forced to play on the back-foot for the entire second half.

Dylan Kerr remains unbeaten since taking over the side.

K’Ogalo maintained their six point gap at the top with second-placed Sofapaka who beat Nzoia Sugar 3-1 in the early kick off.

Despite the nervy second half, Kerr was impressed with his team’s defensive discipline.

“We studied Posta and we knew they were very good with cross balls. That is what we have worked on throughout in training and looking at today, we did it perfect. I am happy with my defenders because enduring 45 minutes of attack shows great character,” the Briton said.

His opposite number Sammy Omollo was dejected.

“Before this game, fate in as much as the title is concerned was on our hands. Now, we only have to depend on the result of other teams. It is frustrating because as a team we did everything right but we didn’t get luck infront of goal. I really couldn’t ask for more from my players,” the tactician stated.

Kagere scored from a tight angle in the 22nd minute, squeezing in the ball past the near post. Kenneth Muguna had done well to outmuscle Jerry Santo in midfield before powering to slide in a defense splitting through pass to Kagere.

Attacking play

Before the goal, both sides had shown intent with attacking play. Wellington Ochieng was forced to clear the ball off the line inside the opening two minutes after Dennis Mukaisi’s lobbed ball skipped over keeper Peter Odhiambo.

On the other end, Patrick Matasi produced a finger tip save to deny Godfrey Walusimbi who struck from the edge of the box on his favorite left foot.

Gor Mahia put into use the effectiveness of George Odhiambo and Karim Nizigiyimana on the right to exploit Posta’s soft underbelly.

They had successfully managed to go upfront several times, but their crosses into the box were always dealt with by Patrick Matasi.

Odhiambo once managed to drift in from the right but his shot was picked out by Matasi.

Posta also came close with Kennedy Otieno’s shot from distance going straight into Peter Odhiambo’s arms.

After Kagere’s goal, Posta turned on the afterburners, increasing pace in attack. Titus Achesa who was employed further upfront away from his preferred left back position caused a lot of danger with his runs on the left, but the final product always let him down.

Kennedy Otieno who had been a constant menace for the Gor defense came close with another free kick missing the target by a whisker.

K’Ogalo should have wound up the half two up but they missed a glorious chance. Walusimbi broke away on the left but his effort one on one with Matasi saw him blast the ball over.

Posta kept pushing in the second half with Erick Kibiru and Dennis Mukaisi seeing their shots from distance fly direct to Odhiambo.

Omollo changed personnel, bringing in Kataka for Moses Otieno to add pace in attack.

From an Achesa corner in the 62nd minute, Jerry Santo’s effort with a header was inches over with keeper Odhiambo clouded in a forest of defenders.

Best chance

The best chance came for the mailmen with virtually the last kick of the game. Gor keeper Odhiambo held on to the ball way too long, referee Peter Waweru giving Posta an indirect freekick from inside the box.

However, Matasi who galloped upfront to take responsibility fired horribly wide.

In the early kick off, Sofapaka cemented their hold on second spot with a 3-1 win over Nzoia Sugar.

Umar Kassumba struck twice and Ezekiel Okare’s once for Sofapaka. Kassumba opened the scoring with a third minute header before Luke Namanda equalized for the visitors in the 21st minute.

Nzoia were startled as they were yet to settle into the game and their poor defensive positions man-marking inside the box saw them go one behind.

But the Bungoma-based side gave in a fight to get back into the game and had a Masita Masuta goal disallowed for offside after the burly striker tapped home from a Namanda cross.

But the visitors would wheel away celebrating their equalizer in the 21st minute when Sofapaka custodian Mathias Kigonya failed to hold on to a ferocious Namanda shot from the right.

Nzoia kept surging forward with the pace of their wingers, but their decision making in the final third let them down.

They were punished in the 37th minute, again thanks to poor defending. Okare hit the ball between the Nzoia keeper’s legs from a tight angle on the right after easily breaking into the box.

On the stroke of halftime, Kassumba completed his brace with a well taken low shot from the right, finishing off a swift move off a counter attack.

KPL midweek results

Kakamega Homeboyz 1 Bandari 0 (Mumias), Kariobangi Sharks 1 Western Stima 0 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Sofapaka 3 Nzoia Sugar 1, Gor Mahia 1 Posta Rangers 0 (Moi Stadium Kasarani), Mathare United 1 Nakumatt 1 (Ruaraka Complex), Muhoroni Youth 2 Thika United 0 (Muhoroni), SoNy Sugar 2 Zoo Kericho 1 (Awendo).