Levin Odhiambo and Mike Oduor: The dynamic duo leading Tusker to a double

FKFPL Levin Odhiambo and Mike Oduor: The dynamic duo leading Tusker to a double

Mark Kinyanjui 06:30 - 27.05.2023

The two left wing wizards have formed a telepathic understanding that is bearing fruit for Robert Matano's men who are chasing league and cup success

When Eric Otieno scored a last-minute header against Ulinzi Stars in the FKF Cup semi-final last Saturday, it would have been easy for people to call him the hero of the day, as his goal put the brewers within sight of claiming a first double since 2016.

For keener observers though, saying that left winger Mike Oduor and left back Levin ‘Leftie’ Odhiambo were the heroes of the day would also have been justified. But then again, it was not the first time that both players had combined before setting up the winning goal, as it is a pattern that has now happened in two consecutive games.

Odhiambo and Oduor were signed by Tusker in late March from Mathare United and KCB respectively after coach Robert Matano had been facing all sorts of problems due to unprecedented circumstances.

The left-back position in particular had been giving Matano problems prior to Odiambo’s arrival. Owing to Isaac Kipyegon’s suspension and Boniface Onyango's injuries, Tusker had been forced to play with makeshift left-backs. Daniel Sakari, Jimmy Mbugua, and Kevin Monyi, all right-backs had been filling in.

For the left wing, Oduor was signed to bring more competition to Shami Mwinyi, John Njuguna, Lawrence Luvanda and Eric Zakayo in the wide positions.

The two players, who hail from Komarock estate in Nairobi and are very good friends off the pitch, have certainly forged an understanding on the pitch especially in attacking situations. That telepathic understanding is gunning Tusker to a potential first league and cup double since 2016.

In the match against Ulinzi Stars, both players combined perfectly before Odhiambo set up Otieno.

Oduor received the ball having drifted into the left half-space with Odhiambo maintaining his width.

Photo Credit: Mozzart Bet Cup

He then sets up Odhiambo, who finds himself in a one-on-one situation against Ulinzi right-back Swaleh Chacha.

Photo Credit: Mozzart Bet Cup

Oduor then beats the defender, before hitting an early floated cross towards Otieno, who heads into the back of the net.

Photo Credit: Mozzart Bet Cup
Photo Credit: Mozzart Bet Cup

At the very same venue a week earlier, Tusker sailed back to the top of the table on 64 points after beating Kariobangi Sharks 1-0, this time, through an early goal by Deogracious Ojok.

The goal was again created by Oduor and Odhiambo. This time, Oduor received the ball from midfielder David Odoyo who was preparing to run on the shoulder of the Kariobangi Sharks right-back.

Photo Credit: Azam TV

He then drifts into the half space while carrying the ball, creating room for Odhiambo to overlap.

Photo Credit: Azam TV

Oduor sets up Odhiambo, who then runs with the ball closer to the byline as a flurry of Tusker attackers crowd the box.

Photo Credit: Azam TV

Odhiambo finds himself with enough space to drill a cross as shown in the screenshot below.

Photo Credit: Azam TV

He hits a low ball across trying to find Oduor who is unfortunate not to meet it first time but Ojok becomes the third runner who gets on the end of it to put the brewers one goal to the good.

Photo Credit: Azam TV

“We are working on being efficient in both flanks, not just one flank. We plan both flanks, but both (Oduor and Odhiambo) are combining well. In the attacking positions, they are ready to go," said Matano.

“They explore the spaces in front of them well and they understand one another well. It is part of the team. It's a good pairing. I would prefer if both sides would become efficient in an attacking sense but I am happy that both have combined well."

Odhiambo has contributed four assists, the last two coming from his excellent deliveries against Kariobangi Sharks and Ulinzi Stars.

Oduor, meanwhile, has scored two goals and registered one assist so far. Both players have gone from being emergency signings to vital cogs for Tusker.

Gor Mahia will, therefore, need to be wary of the dynamic duo when they face Matano's men in the potential title decider at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.