Gor Mahia made the needed response to Tuesday’s stunning defeat at Bandari by edging a hard-fighting Posta Rangers 2-1 in a catch up Kenyan Premier League match hosted at the Moi Stadium, Kisumu, Friday (Aug 10)
The title holders went 14 points clear at the top with this victory, which was handed by a goal either side of half time from Jacques Tuyisenge and Francis Kahata.
Cavin Odongo pulled one back for a Posta side that improved massively after the interval but it came a wee bit late as they tasted defeat for a third successive time against the champions elect.
The opening half ended the way it should have been as Gor Mahia held the little reward of a 1-0 lead.
Tuyisenge had the ball at the back of Gradus Ochieng’s net as early as the 8th minute but the assistant referee’s offside flag cut short the celebrations. Before that, Posta centerback Jerry Santo must have, in silence, thanked his gods after a handball inside the box was not punished.
Tuyisenge won’t be kept silent for long though as he headed home a corner from Francis Kahata, the striker scoring his 13th goal of the season that moves him two closer to Nzoia United’s Elvis Rupia who currently leads the golden boot race with 15.
Posta laboured to get past the Gor Mahia backline despite some enterprising play from Odongo and Gerison Likono, the latter registering the first effort towards the visitors’ goal, a free-kick which was always going wide.
Two more chances fell Gor’s way as a Tuyisenge overhead kick was deflected for a corner while Humphrey Mieno headed over a whipped cross from Innocent Wafula.
Posta were increasingly finding space down Philemon Otieno’s left side as the utility man joined the attack. It was through that channel that they would get their first shot on target in the 38th minute through Joseph Nyaga who’s tame effort proved no obstacle for visiting keeper Boniface Oluoch.
The Kogalo keeper would encounter a bigger test four minutes to the breather when Odongo sent a low drive which deflected off Harun Shakava but it was gathered, the two teams heading into the break with Kogalo ahead.
Whatever Sammy ‘Pumzo’ Omollo whispered to his boys at the interval must have been quite an inspiration. For from the break came a Rangers side that created two quick chances as Likono hit the post after putting pressure on Joash Onyango before closing down keeper Boniface Oluoch who panicked and made a hush clearance.
Likono also had two penalty appeals waved away.
They would be hit with a sucker punch in the 55th minute though as Kogalo doubled their lead against the run of play. Kahata won a free-kick on the left side of Gradus Ochieng’s penalty box.
The angle never favored a strike in goal, unless of course you are a Francis Kahata.
The Kogalo number 8 picked his spot, gave the keeper the look and struck the ball so sweet Ochieng could only help push it into the back of his own net.
Every part of the stadium (save for Posta’s technical bench) went wild.
Gor took over the proceedings after the goal but didn’t create much. They let Posta set up a tense finale when Odongo beat substitute keeper Shaban Odhoji (who replaced the injured Oluoch) after Jeremiah Wanjala’s fine effort crashed off the bar.
The 81st minute goal gave Posta some hope of grinding out a point but the champions’ wall proved impregnable for the remaining minutes.
What it means
Victory puts Kerr’s men on 59 points, 14 better than second-placed Bandari who have played two games more. Posta, who looked like title contenders during the first 10 games of the season, remain 10th with 35 points.
They next host Ulinzi Stars while Gor Mahia will be away to Kakamega Homeboyz.
By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster88)