These goalscorers have etched their names into the record books of the league.
Early goals in football games are quite rare, mostly because teams need some time to blend into matches before they can showcase their attacking firepower. However, occasionally, a few freaky starts to games have seen many early goals – inside the first minute itself – being scored over the years. The Indian Super League (ISL) has also not been any stranger to early goals.
While the league normally sees its games take some time to produce high octane action, a few games in the past have begun in blistering fashion. In the match between Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC on Tuesday, Anirudh Thapa not only became the season’s first Indian goalscorer, but also put himself in the list of another interesting record. He scored among the fastest goals in ISL history. Here are some others:
5. Wim Raymaekers – 53 seconds
In the first season, Delhi Dynamos defender Wim Raymaekers made history by scoring an exceptionally quick goal in their game against Chennaiyin FC. At a time when Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero was the centre of attention in all of Dynamos’ games, the Belgian defender made quite the impact in the game.
Delhi started the match in emphatic fashion, attacking right from the getgo and even before the first minute had been completed, winger Shylo Malsawmtluanga crept into a promising area in the final third before finding his teammate.
Raymaekers stunned everyone in the stadium as he whipped Shylo’s pass into the top corner, creating a frenzy by scoring in 53 seconds after kick-off. The strike held the record of fastest goal for the entire season and Raymaekers’ name will always remain in the ISL history.
4. Anirudh Thapa – 52 seconds
The seventh Indian Super League season needed a spark after a cagey first few games. Anirudh Thapa stepped up to light up the competition by becoming the first Indian goalscorer in the fifth game of the new season. Playing against former head coach Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin showed no fear in taking the fight to them.
After gaining possession, they skated forward in numbers down the right wing with debutant Esmael Goncalves getting a hold of the ball. The new gun cleverly found some space and drilled in a perfect pass to the onrushing Thapa, who powered the ball into the back of the net. Jamshedpur FC certainly didn’t know what hit them and the young Indian midfielder wheeled away in celebration to give his side the perfect start to the season.
3. Mohammed Rafi – 48 seconds
Mohammed Rafi has been part of quite a few impressive ISL records, including becoming the third Indian player to score in an ISL final in 2016 (for Kerala Blasters). In that same edition he also scored one of the fastest goals in the ISL.
The agile forward headed into the game against FC Pune City with a surge of confidence and did not shy away from showing his goalscoring brilliance.
Kerala started the match in all-out attack fashion and striker Chris Dagnall got a hold of possession in a promising area. Before Pune City could create a solid defensive shape, the striker sent in a cross for Rafi into the box – one which the striker headed in with conviction. Rafi scored 48 seconds into the match to stun the opponents. While Pune rallied back to win the game, the striker had a day.
2. Chris Dagnall – 29 seconds
Chris Dagnall’s hard work paid off in Kerala Blasters’ game against NorthEast United in 2015 and he almost made the goal for himself. He snatched the ball off an opponent and sent teammate Josue Prieto Currais forward, all while making a darting run into the penalty area.
Currais played the ball to Antonio German in a promising position down the left wing, allowing him to put in a perfect cross to the marauding Dagnall in the box.
The English striker made no mistake in tucking away from close range, stunning the Highlanders with a goal in 29 seconds.
1. Jerry Mawihmingthanga – 23 seconds
Years after Dagnall had set that record, Jerry Mawihmingthanga broke it in spectacular fashion while playing for Jamshedpur FC. Incidentally, it was against Kerala Blasters when the young winger got the opportunity.
Jamshedpur started the game by thumping the ball forward into the Kerala Blasters area and retained possession in the final third.
After a flurry of quick passes, the ball fell to forward Ashim Biswas and allowed him to take a shot at goal from the edge of the box. He was unable to finish his chance properly, but young Jerry pounced on the error to round the Kerala goalkeeper and coolly put the ball in the back of the net. It was a stroke of luck and clever work from Jerry which enabled him to set this insane record and even after Thapa’s early strike this season, it’s unlikely that this feat will be bettered anytime soon.