These youngsters wrote their name in footballing folklore with their maiden goal in the ISL.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is the highest tier of Indian football. Officially launched on October 21, 2013, the inaugural season of the ISL started on 12th October 2014 with Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) and Mumbai city FC locking horns. Currently, the league has 11 clubs across the country. Since its inception in 2014, several Indian footballers have come through, leaving their mark and expressing their potential at the top level. Here, we take a look at the top 10 youngest goalscorers in the history of the ISL.
10. Rahul KP (19 years 07 months 17 days)
He was selected into the AIFF Elite Academy and featured in FIFA U-17 World Cup after his notable performance in the U-14 national championships. Rahul joined ISL side Kerala Blasters in 2019. On 22 November 2019, he scored his first goal for the club against the Nizams and become the then second-youngest goalscorer in ISL history.
The talented left winger scored a crucial goal for the Blasters in the 2020-21 ISL final to give his team the lead, but Kerala lost in the penalty shoot-out. Although, his record has been surpassed numerous times, Rahul KP remains among the youngest ISL goalscorers ever.
9. Pranjal Bhumij (19 years 07 months 03 days)
A DSK Shivajians product, Pranjal Bhumij joined Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2017-18 ISL season. He wrote his name into the ISL folklore when he scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser against Kerala Blasters. His 93rd minute goal to steal a point for the Islanders on October 5, 2018 made Bhumij one of the youngest scorers in ISL history.
8. Jeakson Singh (19 years 05 months 29 days)
The former Minerva Punjab FC star represented the Indian team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and was the only scorer for India in the tournament. Jeakson joined Kerala Blasters in 2018. He scored his first goal against SC East Bengal on 20 December 2020.
The young defensive midfielder came on as a substitute and scored the equalizer in injury time. The last-minute goal from young Jeakson denied the much-needed three points to SC East Bengal and helped Kerala Blasters earn a point.
7. Rohit Danu (19 years 04 months 17 days)
In January 2019, Rohit Danu scored for Indian Arrows to become the youngest goalscorer in I-League history while he was only 16. He joined Hyderabad FC in 2021. On 27 November 2021, he netted the first goal of his ISL career for the Nizams against defending champions Mumbai City FC. This made Rohit one of the youngest goalscorers in ISL history.
6. Aniket Jadav (19 years 03 months 16 days)
The Maharashtra-born youngster can play both as a forward and as a left winger. Aniket featured in all three matches for India during the U-17 World Cup in 2017. He joined ISL side Jamshedpur FC in 2018 from Indian Arrows and scored the first goal of his ISL career against Hyderabad FC, helping his team win 3-1.
Aniket had undergone a three-month trial with former Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2019. He has recently signed for Emami East Bengal.
5. Deependra Negi (19 years 02 months 07 days)
The young attacking midfielder made his debut for Kerala Blasters on 27 January 2018. In that match, Negi came on as a substitute for Karan Sawhney at half-time and scored Kerala’s equalizer in the 48th minute. After scoring his first, he also contributed to the second goal for the Blasters, winning a penalty.
The penalty was converted by Iain Hume, sealing Kerala’s victory against Delhi Dynamos. Negi was awarded the Hero of the match award. The Uttarakhand-born young midfielder was just 19 years old.
4. Malsawmzuala (19 years 02 months 06 days)
The Mizoram-born young defensive midfielder played for Bengaluru FC in 2015. He then joined Delhi Dynamos FC on a loan deal. The promising youngster scored his first goal against FC Pune City. This goal in his debut season of ISL made him one of the youngest goalscorers in the league.
3. Lalrinliana Hnamte (18 years 09 months 04 days)
Mizoram-born young midfielder Lalrinliana Hnamte played in the I-League U-18 for the FC Pune City side. He made his ISL debut for East Bengal on 21 November 2021 against Jamshedpur. On 2 February 2021, Hnamte scored the first goal of his Indian Super League career against Chenaiyyin FC in injury time.
He was unmarked in the box and scored a last-minute equalizer with a brilliant header to become one of the youngest goalscorers in ISL history.
2. Jerry Lalrinzuala (18 years 04 months 01 day)
The youngster was part of AIFF Elite Academy and got a chance to train with FC Metz in France. He joined ISL side Chennaiyin FC and became one of the youngest ISL goalscorers on 1 December 2016. Jerry netted a goal in a high-voltage clash with FC Goa.
His top-quality effort helped the Marina-Machans clinch their 2nd ISL title under John Gregory. He was awarded the Emerging Player of the League award in that edition.
1. Komal Thatal (18 years 01 months 13 days)
Sikkim-born forward Komal grabbed the attention of every Indian football lover with his impressive skills and speedy moves after he featured in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. Komal is the youngest ever to score in the ISL. He made his debut for ATK in ISL 2017-18 season when he was just 17.
He became the youngest goalscorer ever in ISL history when he netted against Bengaluru FC. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu could do nothing to stop his shot. However, ATK lost that match 2-1. Komal later moved to Jamshedpur FC on a three-year deal ahead of the 2020-21 season to get more game time and show his potential.