Champions Gor Mahia dismal’s performance in this seaon’s Football Kenya Federation Premier League continued on Wednesday after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to 10-men Posta Rangers at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani Annex.
It is Rangers’ second win of the season and the first for coach Stanley Okumbi, who took over the reins at the club on February 8 from Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo, who is now K’Ogalo’s assistant coach.
This was the sixth loss for Gor and it puts more pressure on Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto, who has now suffered his fourth loss of the season since taking over at K’Ogalo last month.
Despite the win, Posta Rangers and Gor Mahia remain 14th and eighth respectively on the log. The Mailmen are on 14 points after 15 games, while Gor Mahia are on 19 points after 13 matches.
Just four minutes into the match, Posta defender Michael Apudo recieved his matching orders after a bad tackle on South Sudan striker Tito Okello, who had a clear chance to score just at the edge of the box.
Apudo was facing his former employers for the first time since ditching them last month to return to Rangers.
With 10 men on the pitch, coach Stanley Okumbi’s charges resorted to a defensive approach.
The defensive duo of Suleiman Osman and Kevin Ouma thwarted dangerous moves from Okello, Cliffton Miheso and Brazilian import Wilsom Silva Fonseca.
Gor captain Kenneth Muguna then combined well with Samuel Onyango in the 12th minute and released Silva, but the Brazilian shot wide to the disappointment of the few fans in the stadium.
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Gor Mahia piled more pressure and pitched tent in the Posta Rangers half, but they were unable to beat Posta custodian Levis Opiyo, who made some spectacular saves to deny Onyango, Okello and Silva.
Okumbi sacrificed striker Eliud Lokuwam for Simon Mbugua in the 19th minute so as to reinforce his defence and thwart Gor Mahia’s constant attacks.
In the 23rd minute, Gor’s Ernest Wendo was booked for a harsh tackle on Sammy Odero in the midfield as both teams battled for the opener.
Gor’s numerical strength was however not reflecting in the ensuing minutes as Posta Rangers eventually settled and started creating their own chances.
Nambute pulled a shocker in the 44th minute racing clearn on the left flank to release a powerful shot past Gor keeper Gad Mathews and give his side an unexpected lead.
Vaz Pinto made the first change in the 50th minute, withdrawing the ineffective Silva for Burundi striker Jules Ulimwengu, who is the club top scorer with four goals.
The Portuguese made a trio substitution in the 65th minute, roping in Philemon Otieno, John Macharia and Abdoul Karim for Cliffton Miheso, Samuel Onyango and Kelvin Wesonga.
Opiyo then saved Rangers, punching out Kenneth Muguna’s header as he denied the Kenyan international a clear chance to restore parity.
Okumbi brought in former Gor Mahia defender Bernard Ondiek, Cavine Odongo and Steiner Musasia for Joshua Yatini, Alex Lungaji and Nambute respectively in the 77th minute to defend the slim lead.