Ten-man Tusker Sunday dismissed Posta Rangers 2-0 to retain the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) title on the final day of the season.
The match held at Ruaraka Grounds in Nairobi was a must-win for coach Robert Matano’s men in their quest to increase their title tally to 13, since they were tied at the top of the table on 57 points with Kakamega Homeboyz ahead of Sunday’s matches.
A loss would have seen Homeboyz stroll to their maiden FKF-PL title since they were awarded a walkover after their would-be opponents Kariobangi Sharks failed to show up at Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega for their last match of the campaign.
Shaphan Siwa and substitute Jackson Macharia struck in both halves of the match to see Tusker successfully defend the title. Both teams finished on 60 points, but the brewers were crowned champions thanks to a superior goal difference of +4.
The FKF Transition Committee awarded Tusker a trophy that is different from the one was unveiled by former FKF president Nick Mwendwa.
FKF Transition Committee vice-chair Maurice Oyugi handed over the trophy as well as Sh2 million cash prize.
As expected, Tusker started the clash strongly, confining the Mailmen in their area.
The hosts’ first real chance of taking the lead arrived after eight minutes when Erick Zakayo tested Posta’s goalkeeper Kelvin Opiyo with a well taken free-kick.
Defender Charles Momanyi’s header then ballooned over the crossbar, before Sami Kibwana’s effort missed the target narrowly.
The Brewers’ hardwork paid off on 24 minutes when Shaphan Siwa capitalised on a melee at the visitors’ box to slot home easily.
The goal sent into frenzy Tusker’s bench and their supporters who turned up in their numbers at Ruaraka Grounds to cheer them.
A golden chance for Siwa to net his second and doubled his side’s advantage arrived on 39 minutes when the midfielder found himself inside the box with space infront of him, his shot intended for the top right corner going off to the disappointment of Tuskers fans.
Ibrahim Joshua’s overhead kick was then saved by Opiyo in the Posta goal.
The teams went for the breather with Jackson Dwang’s deflection which did not perturb goalkeeper Patrick Matasi being Posta’s only shot on target.
Matano moved to improve things on his side at the restart with the introduction of Jackson Macharia and Lawrence Luvanda for Siwa and Shami Kibwana respectively.
The hosts continued to terrorise the visitors, with Macharia coming close to doubling his side’s advantage.
In the 57th minute, Posta had a chance to complicate matters for Tusker when they won their first corner-kick of the match, but Matasi rose high to deal with the danger from Brian Marita’s delivery.
As the match progressed, Posta improved with Matasi now being drawn more to the action. But Macharia shattered the Mailmen’s hopes of spoiling Tusker’s party when he netted their second in the 77th minute.
Tusker finished the match 10 men after defender Kevin Monyi was sent off following a second booking.