Kapen the hero as City Stars hand leaders Posta Rangers second defeat

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FKFPL Kapen the hero as City Stars hand leaders Posta Rangers second defeat

Festus Chuma 17:09 - 02.12.2023

Posta Rangers' lead in the FKF Premier League remains unchanged as they suffer defeat against Nairobi City Stars in a close match.

Posta Rangers failed to extend their lead at the top after losing 1-0 to Nairobi City Stars in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) clash played at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday afternoon. 

With Gor Mahia set to be in action against Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday, Rangers knew they needed to win against Simba wa Nairobi to extend their lead to four points and put psychological pressure on defending champions K'Ogalo before the Sharks' match.

The game got off to a quick start as within the first three minutes Rangers striker Felix Otieno had a big chance after he beat the offside trap to go clear on goal but he fired his shot wide across goal.

City Stars swiftly found their rhythm moments later, moving forward as Vincent Otieno forced a save from goalkeeper John Njau with an unmarked strike in the box after stealing the ball from Rangers defender Faustin Ojiambo.

The Simba wa Nairobi were dangerous on transitions as in the 12th minute Edwin Buliba carved out a space in the box and unleashed a low shot that produced a reflex save from Njau.

City Stars took the lead in the 17th minute when Samuel Kapen, who had barely touched the ball up to that point, displayed the poise to dribble past Robinson Asemwa from the left wing before delivering a powerful shot past goalkeeper John Njau.

John Kamau's charges had the momentum when Brian Musa came close to restoring parity in the 27th minute with a strike that was deflected onto the post by City Stars' goalkeeper Edwin Mukolwe before Felix Oluoch sent it over the bar.

City Stars gained some confidence to attack again in the 34th minute and they became more involved in the game while Rangers appeared a bit rattled after falling behind.

However, Nicholas Muyoti's coached side did not manage to increase the scoreline before the halftime break. Statistically, Posta Rangers had more possession and more shots on goal, with four attempts compared to City Stars' two, of which they converted one into a goal.

At the resumption of the second half, Posta Rangers made two changes, with John Macharia making way for Lewis Shivachi, while Brian Marita replaced Caleb Olilo.

City Stars were then forced to absorb some of the pressure laid on by the Mailmen, who managed to get themselves a good spell of possession heading into the hour mark.

Posta Rangers continued to attack and Felix Owino had a chance to find an equalizer for the table leaders just after the hour mark.

This did not stop City Stars from looking to penetrate Posta defense and score an insurance goal and in 62 minutes played, Owino had an opportunity to deliver a killer blow but Njau again proved to be a thorn in Simba wa Nairobi's plans to extend their lead.

On the other side of the goal Dinken Mwema set-up Brian Marita in the box, but the lanky forward placed his effort just wide of the right-hand post.

Muyoti decided to introduce the defensive-minded duo of Brian Mzee and Dennis Wanjala, with Rangers focusing more on their attacking efforts in their quest for an equalizer.

Rangers' second-half substitute, Peter Thiongo, nearly made an immediate impact, but Mukolwe was alert in City Stars' goal as he pulled off a great save to deny the left-footed player.

City Stars then stood firm at the back, and ultimately, they emerged as 1-0 winners over Postar Rangers, who had been outsmarted.

The victory saw Nairobi City Stars move up two places to the eighth position with 18 points from 13 matches, while Rangers remained on top of the table with 23 points.

How they lined up:

Posta Rangers: John Njau, Elvis Ojok, Faustin Ojiambo, Dinken Mwema, Kennedy Odhiambo, Brian Musa, Caleb Olilo, Vincent Wasambo, Felix Oluoch, Jackson Macharia, Brian Otieno

City Stars: Edwin Mukolwe, Calvins Opollo, Edwin Buliba, Wycliff Omondi, Timothy Muganda, Elvis Noor, Clifton Otieno, Vincent Owino, Samuel Kapen, Mohamed Ali, Robinson Asemwa