Nine-man Posta beat Nzoia to go top as Stima down Tusker

By alex wafula
Jul 15, 2017
  • Bandari coach Paul Nkata is cautious ahead of the match against AFC Leopards who have hired Robert Matano. (SNA. File Photo)

  • Sammy Omollo steered Posta Rangers back to the top of the KPL. (SNA. File Photo)

  • Bandari Andrew Waiswa is chased by Dennis Mukaisi in a previous match. Posta Rangers beat Nzoia United to go top of the league table. (SNA. File Photo)

Posta Rangers dislodged defending champions Tusker FC from the top of the Kenyan Premier League champions after beating Nzoia Sugar 2-1 at the Ruaraka Complex on Friday.

The mailmen climbed to 29 points, one ahead of Tusker who were shocked with a 1-0 loss at the hands of Western Stima in Kisumu.

Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi’s two yellow cards for time wasting saw him earn his first ever top flight red card late on in the game.

With Posta Rangers having already exhausted their substitutions, midfielder Jerry Santo moved into goal for the final three minutes of the game.

Defender Luke Ochieng had been red carded early in the first half but Sammy Omollo’s men managed to weather the storm.

Dennis Mukaisi opened the scoring for Posta in the 24th minute with a low shot after picking up a Joseph Nyaga pass.

But just a minute after going a goal up, Posta were reduced to 10 men with Ochieng shown two quick yellow cards.

An off the ball incident on Vincent Ngesa earned him a yellow and his retaliation with dissent towards the referee earned him his second immediately.

With the central defender off, coach Omollo switched his tactical cards, pulling out winger Georson Likonoh for defender Austin Ochieng.

Nzoia upped the pressure in search of an equalizer, but they found a stone wall backline marshaled by Jockins Atudo who was returning to action after almost two months out with injury.

Posta got the second in the 74th minute when Joseph Mbugi stepped up to convert from the penalty spot after Edwin Wafula axed Titus Achesa inside the box.

Patrick Kwitonda pulled one back for the sugar millers, but they could not pile enough pressure to salvage at least a point.

Second successive loss

In Kisumu, Tusker FC lost their second successive league match after going down by a solitary goal to Western Stima.

It was an important three points to Henry Omino’s men who are in the relegation zone. The win, their first in five matches takes them to 16th on the log.

Godfrey Oromchan’s 27th minute goal gave the powermen the much needed three points. The Ugandan forward struck a well taken effort after cutting in from the right.

Tusker were unsuccessful despite all their pressure to earn a point with their former skipper Samuel Odhiambo, now Stima’s number one working well between the posts.

Action will continue on Saturday with Robert Matano set to make his debut as AFC Leopards coach in Mombasa.

Matano took charge of the team on Monday after leaving second tier side Bidco and he is optimistic of making a winning return to coaching as Ingwe face Bandari.

AFC Leopards are winless in eight matches while Bandari are riding high with new found form having beaten defending champions Tusker and Bandari over their last two matches.

Paul Nkata, the Bandari boss is wary AFC Leopards will be coming in for maximum points.

“Every game we play is tough. AFC Leopards have not won in eight matches and they come here looking for a win. For us, our target remains to consolidate all three points at home and we will be giving our all for this,” Nkata said.

Shared wins

Last season, the two teams shared a win apiece with AFC Leopards winning the first leg 1-0 in Nairobi before losing the return fixture 2-1 in Mombasa.

Overall out of the last 12 matches, Bandari has won only thrice, all of them at home.

AFC Leopards have won four times, two of them in Mombasa while they have drawn five times, only once in Mombasa.

Matano who knows the burden of expectation on his shoulders with the side languishing at 12th on the standing is confident of turning the club’s fortunes around and has promised to lift them back into the top five.

“You will all see when the league ends. As a coach I love challenges and this is another one. I am a senior coach with experience and I am confident this team will perform well again,” he noted.

Bandari will be without new signing Cosmas Lewis and midfielder Michael Luvutsi who were both red carded in their last league match against Tusker FC in Meru.

Meanwhile, Ulinzi Stars who were eliminated from the GOtv Shield last weekend will now put all their energies on the league and they will face an away test to Nakumatt in Ruaraka.

The military side has had a slow start to the second half of the season, only winning one of their last five competitive matches.

Coach Benjamin Nyangweso is worried with the trend the team has picked and will be keen to ensure they pick a morale boosting three points against the league’s new boys.

KPL Weekend fixtures and results

Friday: Posta Rangers 2 Nzoia Sugar 1, Western Stima 1 Tusker FC 0.

Saturday: Bandari v AFC Leopards (Mbaraki Complex, 3 p.m.), Nakumatt v Ulinzi Stars (2 p.m.), Mathare United v Sony Sugar (Ruaraka Complex, 4 p.m.), Thika United v Sofapaka (Thika Sub-County Stadium 3 p.m.).

Sunday: Zoo Kericho v Chemelil Sugar (Kericho Stadium 3 p.m.).