Alfred Tanui's brace for Talanta halts Posta Rangers unbeaten season start


FKFPL Alfred Tanui's brace for Talanta halts Posta Rangers unbeaten season start

Festus Chuma 17:03 - 21.10.2023

Posta Rangers' unbeaten run ends as FC Talanta secures victory with Alfred Tanui scoring a brace for the winning side.

Posta Rangers have seen their unbeaten run in the 2023/2024 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) season come to an end after they suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of FC Talanta at Ruaraka Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday afternoon.

The Mailmen were aiming for their sixth successive victory in the league after defeating Nzoia Sugar 2-0 at home in their previous match, almost two weeks ago.

Head coach John Kamau made two changes to the team that faced the Sugar Millers, with Meshack Munyonga replacing fellow midfielder Felix Ochieng, while Patrick Ochieng was included in the starting lineup.

Talanta, on the other hand, were seeking their second win of the season, having been held to a 3-3 draw by Kakamega Homeboyz in their previous game before the international break.

Kamau’s counterpart, Ken Kenyatta made five changes to the team that started against Kakamega Homeboyz, with James Omusinde returning to the starting line-up.

Alfred Tanui started upfront alongside Alex Luganji, who was one of the best attackers for the side last season.

Talanta wasted no time and went ahead in the second minute when Alfred Tanui received a defense-cutting pass from Lucas Waitere before sending the ball past the advancing Rangers goalkeeper, John Njau.

Posta Rangers started to come into the match, with Curtius Wekesa, Brian Otieno, and Kennedy Odhiambo all looking lively for the hosts.

Wekesa saw his curling long-range shot narrowly miss the target, while Talanta goalkeeper James Omusinde produced two great saves to deny Otieno and Odhiambo, respectively.

However, Talanta grew into the game as it continued, and they were awarded a penalty in the tenth minute, which was converted by Alex Luganji, sending Posta Rangers' shot-stopper John Njau the wrong way.

Bernard Otieno, who has been criticised for his inconsistency since the start of the season, saw his header narrowly miss the target as Rangers looked to get their first goal.

As the heat intensified for the visitors, the Mailmen made their first substitution in the 28th minute, replacing ineffective midfielder Meshack Muyonga with former Tusker FC player Jackson Macharia.

At the half-hour mark, Talanta managed to get behind the Posta Rangers' defense, and Tanui nearly scored his second goal of the game as he burst into the visitors' box from the left side, forcing goalkeeper Njau to make a low save.

Rangers began to push forward, and in the 43rd minute, they earned a set piece that was taken by Titus Echesa and went over the defense, finding Dicken Mwema, who headed it into the back of the net.

Talanta were able to contain Rangers in the closing stages of the opening half, and the score was 2-1 at the interval.

Rangers did most of the attacking at the start of the second half with Brian Otieno keen to make an impact having had a quiet first half.

Titus Achesa played a good cross for the former Sindo United marksman, who headed over the crossbar from close range as John Kamau's men pushed for the equaliser.

There was yet another glaring miss from Mailmen, and Caleb Olilo was the guilty man this time. After being sent clear through on goal by Brian Musa, he could have either scored himself or picked out one of Wekesa or Otieno. 

However, he instead attempted a pass too close to the only defender in the box, Peter Jammah, who made a good clearance.

Unsurprisingly, Talanta grew in confidence from the goal while John Kamau saw his side becoming increasingly cagey, a weak back-pass by Dincken Mwema nearly caused problems – luckily for the defender, his goalkeeper Njau was able to bail him out.

Moments later James Omusinde missed a cross and nearly conceded – he was lucky to see Caleb Olilo’s header glance the upright and go out of play.

Alfred Tanui capitalised on a defensive error in the 75th minute before sending a powerful shot past a helpless Njau for his second goal of the match.

There was another chance for Harman Ngala in the 88th minute, but he fired well over the bar after the ball had fallen kindly for him in the Rangers box.

Thankfully from Ken Kenyatta’s point of view, Talanta were able to play out the six minutes of referee’s additional time with relative comfort - apart from a Peter Thiongo header right at the death which Ouma scrambled to clear - to ensure the three points.

How they lined up:

FC Talanta: James Omusinde, Peter Jammah, John Ouma, Ian Omondi, Castro Ogendo, Lucas Waitere, Harmon Ngala, Alfred Tanui, Kevinton Machika, Alex Lungaji  

Posta Rangers: John Njau, Dincken Mwema, Titus Achesa, Kennedy Odhiambo, Bernard Ondieki, Brain Musa, Caleb Olilo, Meshack Muyonga, Patrick Otieno, Brian Otieno, Cartius Wekesa