Nine man Posta Rangers claimed top spot in the SportPesa Premier League as they pipped Nzoia United 2-1 at Ruaraka yesterday. Veteran marksman Dennis Mukaisi notched the opening goal midway through the first half after firing a low shot that Nzoia keeper Mustapha Oduor haplessly tried to stop in vain. Skipper Joseph Mbugi then added the second from the spot in the 75th minute after Edwin Wafula had tripped Titus Achesa to all but seal the hard-fought win for Sammy Omollo’s mailmen. Patrick Kwitonda briefly threatened that result by halving the deficit with a minute left to play.
The result pushed Posta a point clear at the top of the standings with 29 points from 16 matches. Rangers knew they had to take all three points to put pressure on the teams above them and started the game purposefully and were rewarded when Mukaisi picked the ball from the edge of the box at his old stomping ground and let fly to give Posta the lead.
That result seemed in doubt when Luke Ochieng was sent off four minutes later for a professional foul on Masita Masuta. Omollo reacted by taking off Geoffrey Likonoh for Augustine Ochieng. With Nzoia failing to take advantage of their numerical advantage to peg their opponents back, Mbugi then added the second from the post to kill the game as a contest before Kiiwitonda’s goal and the subsequent sending off of keeper Patrick Matasi nearly ruined a good day in the office for the Mailmen.
Champions Tusker yet again missed the opportunity to return to the top as they were beaten 1-0 away at lowly Western Stima.
With that win, Stima moved two places off the bottom with 14 points from sixteen matches. Another side fighting to get out of the relegation trapdoor Thika United will be hoping to take full advantage of their home support when Sofapaka come calling on Sunday.
Under Nicholas Muyoti, Thika have shown signs of a fighting spirit that has been sorely lacking for the better part of the last two years something they will need to exhibit consistently if they are to beat the drop.