Football Football

The Indeche Leopards riddle: Curse or fixing?


INDECHE-INGWENAIROBI, May 7- AFC Leopards must love the sight of Lucas Indeche in opposing goal, having fired 18 past their ‘customer’ keeper in six matches, a healthy average of three per game in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) with his former employers Thika United and now Sony Sugar.

Going by the stunning statistics, the tally could have been higher had he stood between the sticks during the contentious Sony versus Leopards aborted return leg clash last season that is yet to be resolved nine months later!

Is Indeche, who hails from the Western region where Leopards draw their support feel obliged to ‘pledge his allegiance’ when faced by ‘home team’ Leopards?

Does he, as some Ingwe wags assert, ‘have a bad day in office’ whenever he faces them, is the keeper on AFC’s ‘payroll’ or under black magic locally referred to as ‘remote control’ or is it simply one of football’s astonishing statistics?

Last weekend’s 5-1 mauling of the cane cutters at the hands of Ingwe, the second largest score line thus far in this season’s KPL reignited the Indeche debate, with the custodian blamed by most pundits for four of the strikes that went in with Jacob Keli’s fifth the only one he was absolved from blame but by then, the horses had already bolted from the barn door and the Leopard eaten the prey.

Sony head coach, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno promptly relegated him to the bench in favour of Jairus Adira in their 1-0 loss to champions Gor Mahia on Wednesday.

Speaking to Capital Sport from Awendo, Indeche who joined Sony last season from Thika where he conceded 12 goals in four games against Ingwe maintained he had a bad day in the office just like any other.

“It was just like any other game and we lost fairly. People will always talk so I’m used to it because whether I do good or bad they will complain. I normally give my best in each game and against Leopards I was not playing alone.

“People have perception that because I came from a community where Leopards draws most of its support, I will always do them a favour but that isn’t true and those who have that mentality are trying to bring tribalism in the game,” Indeche stressed in dismissing the charges levelled against him that he goes ‘easy’ on Ingwe.

“The coach always had the final decision on who will play against Gor, but I still believe I’m the best,” he added on being dropped for the visit of the champions in Awendo who left with a 1-0 win.

-Erratic form-

Indeche has started fewer but conceded more this season despite being the first choice keeper to Adira, and Otieno told Capital Sport he axed the keeper for being erratic.

“Going by statistics he (Indeche) has played three games against Mathare United, Chemelil Sugar and Leopards, conceding seven goals compared to Adira who has conceded five goals in seven matches so that can tell who is on form.

“He is a very good keeper but he has to maintain the same tempo; after conceding five goals as a coach you don’t expect me to field the same keeper bearing in mind we were playing a good side, he needs time to recover,” the former Harambee Stars and Gor head coach lamented as he tore into the custodian.

Saturday’s heavy defeat mirrored his abject performance when Leopards walloped Thika 5-0 in 2012 before he ended up on the losing side of a 1-2 result when they faced Ingwe in the second leg of that season’s KPL.

In 2013 Indeche could not stop Leopards either conceding four goals in their opening leg in 4-1 tonking before settling for a 1-1 draw in the second leg.

At Sony, the 24-year-old conceded once after Allan Wanga handed Leopards the winner in their first-leg 1-0 triumph and with the return leg being abandoned, the 5-1 mauling last weekend continued his woeful record.