Gor Mahia FC bounced back from their set back in Mombasa in their last league outing with a 2-1 win over Posta Rangers in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash staged at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Friday 10 August.
A goal each either side of halftime from Jacques Tuyisenge and Francis Kahata ensured the three points for the defending champions with Rangers getting their consolation through Cavin Odongo.
The win is K'Ogalo's 18th of the season in 24 matches and sees them extend their lead at the top to 14 points as they now move up to 59 points while Rangers' inconsistency continues. Sammy Omollo's men have now lost eight matches and remain in 10th place with 31 points.
The loss to Bandari had not only stopped Gor Mahia's juggernaut but reminded teams in the division that the Dyllan Kerr coached side were beatable; Rangers having this in their mind coming to the duel but couldn't stamp any authority in the earlier exchanges.
Rwandese Jacques Tuyisenge chasing his first golden boot since arriving in the country years ago had shown the team's intention of bouncing back from the Bandari dent in the eighth minute but his goal after a nice interchange of passes with Francis Kahata had been scored from an offside position.
That would not dampen the strikers spirits as he would get it right two minutes later after towering above the Rangers defence to head in a Kahata corner much to the delight of the fans who had thronged Moi Stadium to urge their team on.
Rangers were not relaxing too in their bid to avoid a third consecutive defeat against Gor with Gerson Likono forcing Boniface Oluoch to a smart save with a sumptuous free kick at the quarter hour mark but the threat was short lived as on the other end, defender Simon Mbugua got into the referees book for hacking down George Odhiambo who was on his bike in his bid to instigate a move.
In another attacking spree by the league defending champions, Humphrey Mieno would pull a header just wide of Gradus Ochieng's goal posts after connecting to a Francis Mustafa cross.
Having seen enough of K'Ogalo's opening dominance, coach Sammy Omollo would ring in the changes, bringing on striker Paul Odhiambo for Peter Ochieng in a ploy seen to help aid his side while tracking back.
The half would end with Tuyisenge's goal the difference.
If the first half was a slow show by Rangers, the second one had a different story line. With Tuyisenge having been replaced by Lawrence Juma on resumption, Rangers were the first to threaten. Likono who had been Rangers best player for the better part of the evening was to send a swerving ball, out of nothing, that beat Oluoch in the Gor goal only for captain Harun Shakava to clear the danger having tracked back in a nick of time.
Gor would be buoyed by that Likono chance as they added to their advantage only moments later through the impressive Kahata. The former Thika United man in his trademark fashion, sending in a free kick that sailed past Gor Mahia old boy Gradus Ochieng in goal in the 55th minute.
Rangers would react to the set back by withdrawing Luis Misiko for Titus Achesa with Philemon Otieno being the second player in the game to get into the referees book for dissent.
Gor in unfamiliar fashion had regressed after the second goal and with Ernest Wendo being booked in the 66th minute, Kerr withdrew Mustafa for Cercidy Okeyo to aid the former Bidco man in midfield. Rangers then threw in former Leopards winger Marcellus Ingotsi for the injured Joseph Nyaga with Gor Mahia forced to make a change on the goalkeeping department after keeper Oluoch had gone down without the ball, his place taken by Shaban Odhoji.
The incidents seem to have given Rangers some renewed hope and they were to pull a goal back nine minutes from time through Cavin Odongo who pounced on a rebound from a Likono effort which had come off the woodwork.
Gor Mahia Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK) (Shaban Odhoji), Philemon Otieno, Innocent Wafula, Haron Shakava, Joash Onyango, Ernest Wendo, Francis Kahata, Humphrey Mieno, Francis Mustafa (Cercidy Okeyo), Jacques Tuyisenge (Lawrence Juma), George Odhiambo
Unused Subs: Shaban Odhonji, Karim Nizigiyamana, Wellington Ochieng, Cercidy Okeyo, Bernard Ondiek, Kevin Omondi
Posta Rangers Starting XI: Gradus Ochieng (GK), Simon Mbugua, Collins Omondi, Suleiman Ngotho, Jerry Santos, Peter Ng’ang’a, Gearson Likonoh, Luis Tera (Titus Achesa), Peter Ochieng (Paul Odhiambo), Cavin Odongo, Joseph Nyaga (Marcellus Ingotsi)
Unused Subs: Boniface Baraza, Kennedy Onyango, Joseph Mbugi, Gilbert Osonga