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SPORTS

Brewers knock Posta out of GOtv Shield tournament

FOOTBALL By Gilbert Wandera | September 29th 2016

Tusker are through to the semi-finals of the GOtv Shield after a 2-1 win against Posta Rangers at Thika Municipal Stadium yesterday.

Humphrey Mieno and Shafik Batambuze starred for the brewers as they scored in each half, while Timothy Otieno pulled one back for the Rangers.

Until yesterday, Tusker seemed to have had an easy ride in this year's competition right from the first match, while for Posta Rangers; this was surely their first real test.

In their first match, Tusker defeated Machakos United 3-1, won 3-0 against Uprising Youth. It was a similar result when they played Zetech University.

On the other hand, Rangers began with a 4-1 win against Timsales, before they were suspended from the tournament for fielding an ineligible player.

Rangers were, however, reinstated after a successful appeal and needed post-match penalties to edge out Ushuru and Agro-Chemicals by identical 5-4 victories.

Coming into yesterday's match, Tusker, who are chasing a double this year, were not expecting an easy ride. Both sides were cautious in the early minutes of the tie as Rangers forced the first corner of the match, but Batambuze dealt with the danger.

In the 25th minute, Allan Wanga picked out the towering midfielder Mieno, who had little difficulty to put the brewers on the driving seat.

Three minutes later, Mieno could have doubled the tally, but failed to connect a well-taken cross by Noah Wafula.

The goal must have stung Rangers, but as time went on, they relaxed and with it, created chances of their own. First, they forced a corner in the 40th minute, which goalkeeper David Okello dealt with. Three minutes later, Okello could not stop Otieno from ensuring parity, as both teams went to the break level.

Three minutes after re-start, Tusker coach Paul Nkata rested the ineffective Wafula for Danson Kago, but it was Rangers, who threatened first. Titus Achesa found himself with only Okello to beat, but was denied by the experienced goalkeeper.

At the back, Ranger's veteran defender Jockins Atudo was always overzealous as he made threatening tackles. Well, he had to pay for it five minutes after the hour when he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

With one of their most experienced defenders out and playing against a team that almost scores at will, Rangers cracked in the 66th minute, allowing Batambuze to send his side into the semi-finals with a well-taken free-kick.

Rangers coach Zedekiah Otieno brought in Abdalla Salim and Gearson Likonoh for Collins Neto and Cavin Odongo in a bid to steady his ship, but it was too late.

In the semi-finals, which will be played this weekend, Tusker will take on KCB, while Ulinzi Stars play Kariobangi Sharks.

The winner of the tournament will represent the country in next year's Confederations Cup.

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