The K’Ogalo’s assistant explains to Goal how they managed to recover and book a ticket in the last 16 of the competition
The Kenyan champions were forced to come twice from behind to beat the lower division side 3-2 in the Round of 32 match played at Kasarani Stadium.
Kingsley Owuor opened the score for Naivas in the 12th minute but Gor Mahia’s Dickson Ambundo equalised in the 40th minute. However, Naivas, reclaimed their lead through Rashid Hassan in the 41st minute.
The second half was in favour of Gor Mahia with Lawrence Juma restoring parity in the 69th minute before Boniface Omondi sealed the win with a goal deep into stoppage time.
Odhiambo has now revealed his side panicked after going down twice but said they managed to carry the day because of the experience they had in the squad.
“What helped us most is experience, we stayed calm despite being down and kept changing the game plan, strategies switching from this to that and it somehow worked against them because they could not understand,” Odhiambo told Goal.
“In the last quarter we risked a lot because we pushed everything forward and remained with only two centre-backs, and we were lucky they did not get us on the counter-attack, they were really coming but we had a lot of numbers upfront but the problem was to convert the chances
“We are not used with the situation we were in the first quarter so we were a bit shaken and we knew there was a lot time still left and guys were patient and we knew we will force a comeback and we managed to do it.”
On being drawn to face Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Posta Rangers in the Round of 16, Odhiambo said: “It is going to be a tough one, but we will face it, Rangers is a team we know, at least we know Rangers, so we can easily plan against them, not the same against Naivas because I don’t even know a single player from the team.”
The final of the competition will be staged on May 30.
The tournament winner will take home Ksh2million, while the runners-up will pocket Ksh1million. The third-placed and fourth-placed teams will get Ksh750, 000 and Ksh500, 000, respectively.
FKF Round of 16: FC Talanta vs Kariobangi Sharks, Posta Rangers vs Gor Mahia, Sofapaka v Bandari, Bidco United vs Fortune Sacco, Vihiga United v Kisumu All-Stars, Ushuru vs AFC Leopards, KCB vs Wazito FC, Migori Youth v Ulinzi Stars.