For the first time in their history, Posta Rangers beat Mathare United at the Thika Stadium on Monday.
The win saw Posta Rangers climb to the second spot on the Kenya Premier League standing.
In this matchj, experienced forward Dennis Mukaisi scored the lone goal in the 15th minute to ensure Sammy Omollo’s charges remain unbeaten in the opening five matches of the season.
Over the past eight meetings, Mathare has won twice against the mailmen, both matches in the 2010 season.
The next six meetings ended in draws and the Monday evening result was the first win for Posta Rangers.
Omollo was delighted with the result which pushed his side to just a point off leaders Gor Mahia.
He praised his side’s defense which has conceded only one goal in five games for putting up another superb display especially in the second half.
“It was a very tough match and especially against Mathare a side that is tactically and technically gifted, it is huge to win. We defended very well especially in the second half when they were coming at us,” the tactician said after the game.
Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United boss was dismayed with the officiating. “The referee today was very poor. Most of the time she killed the momentum of the game and had to be reminded even by the assistants of her work,” a disappointed Kimanzi noted.
However, he was pleased with the performance of his side, ruing a concentration lapse that allowed Posta to score.
Great scoring opportunities
The two sides had great scoring opportunities in the opening few minutes before Mukaisi broke the deadlock.
Joseph Mbugi from deep in his midfield position attempted to catch the Mathare keeper off his line in the first minute but his effort went wide.
Mathare had the better of chances with Daniel Mwaura sending Cliff Nyakeya but Patrick Matasi in the Posta goal was faster off his lines to deny the youngster.
Matasi was forced to make a good reflex save 10 minutes later when Mwaura’s shot from the right took an awkward bounce infront of him.
It was Posta who broke the deadlock when Mukaisi placed the ball beyond Levis Opiyo in the Mathare goal.
Geoffrey Kataka who impressed in his first start last weekend weaved his way past Mathare defenders before passing to Edwin Mwaura who tapped the ball through for Mukaisi to score.
Posta were compact and attacking through the centre, trying to pierce through the new Mathare defensive partnership of Lennox Ogutu and Andrew Juma. Regular centre back George ‘Wise’ Owino had been pushed to the midfield.
Mathare’s attacks were thwarted by a no-nonsense Posta defense with the central pairing of Jockins Atudo and Luke Ochieng doing much of the work.
The Slum Boys’ tact of trying to use width and crossing the ball was thwarted by the two who were strong in the air.
Mathare got one small breakthrough from a Mwaura freekick, but David Mwangi’s header wasn’t good enough to hit the target.
Posta almost scored the second in the 38th minute but Atudo’s header from a Joseph Mbugi corner was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.
Mukaisi also had a chance for a second at the stroke of half time but his header from an Ochieng long throw went wide.
In the second half, Kimanzi started by bringing in right back Martin Ongori for Alphonce Ndonye while defensive midfielder Abubakar Keya was pulled out for striker Ronald Okoth.
Both changes insinuated Kimanzi was going all out attack. However, they still couldn’t get something off Posta who defended well with with Matasi limited to action, only having to organize his backline.
Posta were only attacking on the counter and using Ochieng’s ability on long throws to attack.
They thought to have had a second in the 88th minute but Kataka’s goal was ruled offside after racing to pick a rebound from an Atudo free kick.
Mathare almost grabbed the equalizer at the death but David Owino’s cross which bounced off a Posta defender came off the upright.
Mathare remain winless in their last four matches after winning their opening game of the season.