AFC Leopards marksman John Mark Makwatta has made it known of his departure from the club in a social media post dated February 4th, this, bringing to an end speculations over his intended move to the Zambian Super League. Makwatta, wishing his former station goodbye, leaves the den on 13 goals- highest for the club in the season and highest in the league as of the time this article is being written.
Leading a pack of goal-hungry strikers in the division, the diminutive forward’s exit from the league opens a fresh chase for the Golden Boot as he had two other names hot on his heels with double figures. Tusker’s Timothy Otieno will now assume leadership of the golden boot chase on 11 goals while Kenya Commercial Bank’s Enock Agwanda stays second on 10.
Last season’s leading scorer Enosh Ochieng of Ulinzi Stars stays at a close distance of 8 goals in 3rd.
At club level, Leopards have lost a marksman whose goal tally was more than three times the second-best scorer at the den has. Vincent Oburu, on 4 goals, would have assumed top position for Ingwe but in comes Elvis Rupia who has, in fact, opened his account at the den and now goes to 6 goals for the season. Rupia is Leopards’ hope for patching up the gap left by Makwatta.
A top AFC Leopards target during his time at Nzoia Sugar, Rupia coincidentally left the Kenyan Premier League while at the top of the goal-scoring charts in the 2018 season for a stint in Zambia. He would come back unsuccessful and settle at Wazito where he has managed 5 goals as he crosses over to Leopards.
Speaking of players who have moved and made an immediate impact, there’s a duo at the middle of the table worth a mention. David Simiyu would always try to find a goal while at Chemelil Sugar in the first leg of the season even in matches that they would lose. He ditched the sugar millers on 5 goals and has moved to 6 at his new station Sofapaka. Peter Lwassa left Sofa at 3 goals and with only two appearances at Kariobangi Sharks, has moved to 5 goals.
At Gor Mahia, a midfielder leads their goal-scoring charts but mid-season acquisition Juma Balinya is already on two goals in two appearances and could be the name that finally relieves K’Ogalo midfielders of the goal-scoring burden.
Back to Rupia’s entry at Leopards. He comes from Wazito, a side that hasn’t enjoyed the best of returns in their recent fixtures and comes to a side that will provide him with such generous feet as Austine Odhiambo (4 assists) and Boniface Mukhekhe (3 assists). Odhiambo in fact, could have been on 6 assists had John Makwatta converted the two penalties he birthed against Kisumu All Stars when Ingwe won 2-0 in Kisumu. Rupia, therefore, should be in safe hands.
Now to the player that scored thirteen times- twice from the spot and was the sole reason Leopards picked maximum points against Wazito both at home and away, one can only wish John Mark Makwatta the best of returns in his second stint in Zambia. Three braces and a hat-trick in just the first half of the season is no mean feat.
To the remaining hunters of goals- game on.
|John Mark Makwatta (Out of contest)*||13|
|Timothy Otieno (Tusker)||11|
|Enock Agwanda (KCB)||10|
|Enosh Ochieng (Ulinzi)||8|
|Peter Thiong’o (Homeboyz)||7|
|Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi)||7|
|Benson Omalla (Stima)||7|
|Elli Asieche (Sofa)||7|
|Francis Nambute (Rangers))||7|
|Kenneth Muguna (Gor)||7|