By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster88)
Posta Rangers returned to winning ways with a gritty, almost filthy, 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars thanks to a first half strike from Cavin Odongo at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega Count, Sunday (19).
The attacker netted for a fourth match running to guide Rangers to victory having lost their previous two league matches.
Both sides, title contenders during the infant days of the 2018 season, have been suffering from a dip in form and this match presented an opportunity for one of them to get lucky.
However, the a couple hundreds of fans who turned up to watch the match must have felt they deserved better (despite the free entry) than two offside goals that were the only talking points in the opening half hour.
Cliff Kasuti’s goal in the 4th minute was flagged offside and so was Kennedy ‘Agogo’ Otieno’s goal for Posta three minutes later halfway into the half.
Chances begin at 30
The game took a turning point though when the clock hit 30. Jeremiah Wanajala spurned a one-on-one chance after being put clear by Luis Tera. The striker had so much time to think about how to beat James Saruni and that worked against him, his idea of squeezing the ball between the keeper and his post proving not clever.
From the resultant goalkick, Masita Masuta almost put Ulinzi up with a curling shot that missed the far right post by an inch, or less.
You could suddenly feel a goal was coming now, and it did come courtesy of Cavin Odongo who motored his way past the Ulinzi defence, opened his body up before slotting past a gravely exposed Saruni with 32 minutes played.
Five minutes later, Wanjala was wasting another chance after being fed by Tera from a counter attack which looked devastating until the ball reached the striker’s feet.
The final chance of the half fell on Kasuti’s feet and so did the first of the second half but he failed to beat Gradius Ochieng as Posta kept their lead.
Ulinzi got off the blocks quick but were soon cutting a frustrated figure as Posta, sensing the pendulum swift, resorted to delaying tactics (they call it game management sometimes).
Substitute Oscar Wamalwa missed at near post after a lung-bursting run from Masuta in what was the best chance of the second stanza.
Posta defended resolutely for the entire second half with substitute Jared Obwoge especially standing out alongside Jerry Santos and Titus Achesa. Gerison Likono was their main outlet as they resolved to soaking in the pressure and hitting their opponents on the counter, a strategy that barely functioned, at least the latter part of it.
The diminutive wideman played the final 10 minutes on the edge having been booked for a wrestling move on Ulinzi sub Abdalla Hamisi.
The Soldiers threw the kitchen sink at Posta in the final moments but the hosts’ defence wouldn’t open shop.
Despite the win, Rangers remain outside the top half at position 10 with 34 points, 4 behind the Soldiers who are sixth.
In other matches, Tusker edged visiting Zoo Kericho 1-0 in Ruaraka while Kakamega Homeboyz picked a point at Vihiga United in a one-all stalemate.
Earlier in the day, Enock Agwanda was once again the leading role as Sony Sugar best Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 at Camp Toyoyo.