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SPORTS

KCB spices up title race

Benson Mutinda (left) of Posta Rangers fights for the ball with Victor Omondi of KCB during their KPL match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, yesterday. [Stafford Ondego]

Enock Agwanda scored a brace as KCB brushed aside Posta Rangers 3-1 in yesterday’s Kenyan Premier League match in Machakos to go level on 41 points with Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz.

The trio are now three points behind record champions Gor Mahia, who travel to Zoo Kericho today.

Tusker welcome Wazito at Ruaraka today, while Homeboyz who have been leapfrogged by KCB courtesy of goal difference, host Chemelil Sugar at Bukhungu Stadium.

Elvis Rupia also bagged a brace to help AFC Leopards complete a double over Sofapaka (2-1) in Mumias, while Bandari continued with their resurgence after trouncing visiting Mathare United 3-1.

The victory saw Leopards move into the fifth-place (37) and narrow the gap on leaders Gor Mahia to eight points.

A visibly delighted KCB coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno said: “For us, it was a good win especially after losing two games in a row. But all in all, we had a plan before the start of the season and I’m glad it is still working. We are within our targets and we are not worried at all; just taking one game at a time.”

“The title can be won by the team that wins most of its matches and that’s what we are trying to do.”

With yesterday’s brace Agwanda has moved into the second place of the top goalscorers’ chart with twelve goals, one goal shy of former AFC Leopards striker John Makwatta. Mwakatta joined Zambian giants Zesco United in the mid-season transfer window.

KCB took the lead when Agwanda finished off Victor Omondi’s cut back from close range in the 27th minute before the duo combined for the former Gor Mahia man’s double three minutes into the second half.

Michael Mutinda extended the bankers’ lead with a clinical finish before Ezekiel Okare pulled a goal back for the mailmen on restart.

Rangers started off the better side and came close to breaking the deadlock in the tenth minute, but Gearson Likono’s effort was deflected for a fruitless corner.

KCB responded immediately but indecision cost Brian Ochieng a precious scoring chance from Simon Munala’s delivery.

Badi Baraka then forced a fine save from Rangers goalkeeper Jairus Adira before Michael Mutinda ballooned a long-range shot over after pouncing on the rebound.

Moments later, KCB custodian Gabriel Andika came off his line to deny youngster Benson Mutinda a scoring chance as both sides intensified their attacks.

But it is the bankers who broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when pacy winger Victor Omondi made a good run on the left flank before delivering an incisive cut back for Agwanda to bury the ball into an empty net his eleventh of the season same us Timothy Otieno.

Rangers came close to drawing ten minutes later, but Clinton Kisiavuki’s goal-bound shot was blocked before Mike Kibwage did well to head away Ezekial Okare’s dangerous cross from the right channel.

Andika then easily gathered Benson Mutinda’s feeble shot before Francis Nambute angled his shot wide on the stroke of halftime.

The second half resumed with the bankers again on the front foot and their efforts were rewarded two minutes after the restart through Agwanda’s header.

The burly striker comfortably grabbed his brace of the day when he again combined with Victor Omondi to head the ball past the stranded Posta goalkeeper.

And the bankers’ third goal in the 53rd minute was a replicate of their opening goals. Munala raced down the right flank before setting up Michael Mutinda for the third goal. Okare pulled a goal back for the mailmen with a fantastic finish immediately after restart.

Moments later, Okare forced two brilliant saves from Adira as the game threatened to boil over.

Okare then earned a free kick for Rangers in a promising position, but Andika did well to stop Likono’s effort before substitute Marcelus Ingotsi squandered a golden chance for the mailmen.

Rangers came close again in the 85th minute only for Likono’s shot to crash against the crossbar.

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