Ezekiel Odera is the name on every AFC Leopards fan at the moment. Signed as a free agent from Nairobi City Stars, many had written him off, saying that he had exhausted all his ammunition after stints at Gor Mahia and Sofapaka. The soft-spoken forward however has shown the Ingwe fraternity that he still has some cartridges in his lethal left foot and a poacher’s header that reminds football fanatics of the great Raul Gonzalez or Philipo Inzaghi.
When he was first given a chance to don the Ingwe colors, he played below par and Ingwe fans who are known to be the most impatient started crying out for his blood.
But as they say, some things happen for a reason, he must have been undergoing a very torrid time with his mother battling with Cancer.
Odera would then open his account with a goal against his former club Sofapaka and that was just the beginning. He has gone ahead to score five on a trot.
Last week against Wazito FC, her missed from the spot kick, but that did not bring him down, in the 41st minute of the game, the bald headed assassin found the smallest of spaces in between Mark Odhiambo and co, to score a spectacular over head kick in the game that he also provided an assist in the 3-2 win.
On Sunday 18th March, Odera preferred to honor the match versus Kakamega Homeboyz, exactly 24 hours after laying his mother to rest.
It is said that he arrived for the match 30 minutes before kickoff and requested to play.
He wanted to play, maybe just try and forget the torrid month he had, or maybe say thank you to the entire AFC Leopards community for standing by him after he lost his Mom.
‘Coach, I want to play…’
His coach Dennis Kitambi granted him his wish.
All seemed to be going astray for Ingwe in the match and they had resigned to picking a point but a moment of madness by former Ingwe winger granted Leopards a last gasp penalty, and it was this moment that Odera grabbed, smashing the resultant penalty onto the top right corner of the net with keeper Michael Wanyika springing the wrong way.
As has become the tradition, Ingwe got off the blocks in blistering pace, but this time round coupled by beautiful passing of the ball and great team build up. This was rewarded in the 12th minute when Marvin Nabwire smashed home a Jaffery Owiti cut back in the box to complete a team move that had been initiated by goalkeeper Jairus Adira.
With defensive fatalities still evident in the team, they were soon stabbed when Moses Mudavadi swept the ball through a forest of Ingwe players to restore parity.
Another three points for AFC Leopards at Kenyatta Stadium means that
The Leopards have won four in a trot and are second on the log, level on points with Gor Mahia who have a match in hand.