Posta Rangers held on for a nervy 2-1 win over Nairobi Stima in the Kenyan Premier League Promotion/Relegation play-offs staged at the Karuturi Grounds on Saturday 15th June.
Nairobi Stima came into the encounter seeking to become the first National Super League side to earn promotion to the Kenyan Premier League via the playoffs route. Posta Rangers, on the other hand, were looking to prolong their three-year stay in the KPL.
Rangers had a blistering start to the game as they took the lead in the fifth minute when veteran defender Joakins Atudo delivered a sumptuous free-kicks that left Jacob Osano rooted to the ground.
Stima got back to the game and dominated the rest of the half as they restored parity at the depth of the first half as Dennis Oalo's sublime free-kick rattled the back of the net to extend his lead at the top scorer's summit to 25 goals.
Stima began the second half from where they left from but they squandered a glorious chance in the 47th minute when Patrick Asiku got past Gradus Ochieng but delayed his shot which allowed Charles Odete to return and clear the ball out for a corner.
Posta regained their lead 58th minute when Felix Olouch wasted a golden chance but Stima failed to clear their lines as Francis Nambute's overhead kick found the back of the net.
Stima dropped off their pace in the game after conceding the second as they failed to create open chances as they did in the first half. Posta held on for the win with the second leg slated for Wednesday 19th June at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Stima Starting XI: Jacob Osano, Brian Odhiambo, Levian Ochieng, Shela Mandela, Joseph Shikokoti, Alex Luganji, Hillary Ojwang, Brian Musa, Patrick Asiku, Raphael Asudi, Dennis Oalo.
Subs: Muhammad Kasule, Shadrack Onyango, Joseph Njoroge, Benjamin Chaka, Erick Kinuthia, Paul Kisige, Daglas Mokaya.
Posta Starting XI: Gradus Ochieng, Simon Mbugi, Collins Omondi, Charles Odete, Jockins Atudo, Joseph Mbugi, Gerson Likonoh, Peter Nganga, Marsellus Ingotsi, Francis Nambute, Felix Olouch.
Subs: Eluid Emase, Ezekiel Nyati, Jerry Santo, Elvis Osok, Joseph Nyaga, Jared Obwoge, Ken Mutembei