Gor Mahia moved further up the league table when they beat Posta Rangers 2-1 at Kasarani on Wednesday.
Dennis Oliech scored his first ever goal for Gor Mahia on the stroke of halftime. Charles Momanyi had scored the opener in the 27th minute. Posta Rangers then equalized in the 41st minute. Oliech then restored Gor Mahia’s lead.
Additional reporting from the Nation
Dennis “The Menace” Oliech on Wednesday scored his first goal for Gor Mahia as he helped the defending champions edge a stubborn Posta Rangers 2-1 in a rescheduled SportPesa Premier League match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Oliech scored the winner deep in added time of first half after Ranger’s Francis Nambute had cancelled out Charles Momanyi’s opener.
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay had moaned about the bluntness of his forwards after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Mathare United on Sunday, his frustrations manifesting with Wednesday’s team selection.
Oktay dropped Jacques Tuyisenge and Nicholas Kipkirui for Dennnis Oliech and Burundian Francis Mustafa. The Cypriot had praised Oliech after his cameo appearance in the match against his former club and the former Harambee Stars needed only a half a chance to remind doubting Thomases what he is capable of.
Deep in stoppage time of first half, Oliech received a low cross from Wellington Ochieng, took a lovely half turn freeing himself from his marker Gilbert Osonga. With only Rangers keepr Eliud Emase to beat, Oliech neatly tucked the ball away in bottom right corner past the diving custodian.
This was the kind of finishing that Oktay had demanded of his strikers on Sunday afternoon.
Gor Mahia started the match strongly and should have gone ahead with hardly a minute on the clock when Shafik Batambuze’s effort was cleared on the line by Joseph Mbugi with Rangers’ keeper Levis Opiyo well beaten.
The Mailmen survived another scare five minutes later when Francis Kahata’s intended cross came off the cross bar with Opiyo once again nowhere in sight.
At the other end, a lively Nambute almost grabbed the lead against the run of play when he sneaked in between Gor’s new central defensive partnership of Momanyi and Pascal Ogweno to connect on a Danson Kago’s cross but his glancing header drifted inches over the bar.
Jerry Santos gave away a cheap corner after he had received a suicide pass from the unsettled Opiyo and was harried down by Lawrence Juma. It was from this corner that the defending champions took the lead in a scrappy fashion.
Opiyo, once again undecided, came off his line but failed to deal with Kahata’s in-swinger spilling the ball in the six yard box. With the ball bobbling around, the keeper stranded, Momanyi reacted fast to prod home from close range to hand K’Ogalo the lead in 27th minute.
As Momanyi wheeled away to celebrate the opener, Opiyo lay protrate on the ground needing medical attention. After a seven-minute stoppage, Rangers medical team signaled to the technical bench that Opiyo would not be able to continue with the game forcing John Kamau to throw in Eliud Emase.
Posta looked to have used the break to calm their nerves as Brian Osumba disposed Ogweno at the edge of the box before squairing to an onrushing Nambute. With Momanyi lurking behind him, the youngster produced an improvised back heel finish that left Gor keeper Peter Odhiambo rooted on the spot as he watched the ball roll into the net.
An incensed Oktay pulled out Ogweno for the school boy howler but Oliech ensured that Gor went back to the sheds with the lead.
Kamau threw in Ken Mutembei and Louis Tera in search of an equalizer but the Gor Mahia defence remain resolute and neat. On the end Oliech was a constant threat at one point beating four markers to unleash a screamer that whizzed inches wide off the target with Emase, just like Opiyo, well beaten.