Many early goals shocked and delighted the fans across the country over the years in the Indian top-flight league.
“The most difficult thing in football is to score a goal,” Pep Guardiola once said. But is scoring that difficult? That too in the Indian Super League (ISL)? Statistics point out that it’s not.
In fact, 10 footballers from eight different clubs have scored goals within 70 seconds of the kick-off in the seven-year-long history of the ISL. Let’s find out who scored the fastest goals in the history of the ISL.
10. Lalrindika Ralte (68 seconds)
A member of ATK’s ISL-winning squad of 2016, Lalrindika Ralte scored a stunner in the first leg of the playoffs against Mumbai City FC that year. The assist of this goal was provided by Spanish midfielder Borja Fernandez. His goal was crucial for the Kolkata-outfit as the match ended 3-2 in favour of ATK, who played out a draw in the second leg and advanced to the final.
We all know what happened in the days that followed. ATK went on to beat Kerala Blasters on penalties, and lifted the ISL trophy for the second time.
9. Sergio Cidoncha (61 seconds)
In the summer transfer window of 2019-20, Kerala Blasters secured the signature of Sergio Cidoncha from Jamshedpur FC. Cidoncha’s maiden goal for Kerala Blasters came against FC Goa, in just 61 seconds!
In the previous five matches, he was unable to score for the Yellow Army. That is when a volley against FC Goa did the trick. The indirect assist came in the form of a throw-in taken by Raju Gaikwad, whose throw was not properly cleared FC Goa’s Mourtada Fall. The ball fell in the path of Cidoncha on the edge of the 18-yard-box and the Spaniard netted it in style. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
8. Manuel Onwu (58 seconds)
This happened during a mouth-watering clash at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, between hosts Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters. The match witnessed a total of eight goals with both teams scoring four times each. Manuel Onwu broke the deadlock for the Juggernauts within the first minute.
The striker went on to score two more goals in this encounter, in the 36th and the 51st minute respectively. The match also saw one own goal from Narayan Das and three penalty kicks, two from Kerala Blasters’ Bartholomew Ogbeche and one from Martin Perez Guedes of Odisha FC.
7. Jackichand Singh (56 seconds)
While plying his trade for FC Goa in 2018-19, Jackichand Singh scored a goal against ATK in just 56 seconds. A beautiful assist from Ferran Corominas from the right flank met Jacki in the box, whose powerful strike went past Arindam Bhattacharya at the first post. The match ended 3-0 in favour of FC Goa with Coro scoring the remaining goals on the 52nd and the 81st minutes respectively.
6. Wim Raymaekers (53 seconds)
Delhi Dynamos defender Wim Raymaekers scored a stunner from an assist by Shylo Malsawmtluanga, against Chennaiyin FC in the first-ever season of the ISL. A corner, taken by Alessandro Del Piero went towards Shylo — who in return laid the pass towards Wim Raymaekers just outside the box. Raymaekers’ left-footed strike went into the top corner in style. Surely, this is one of the best long-range attempts the ISL has ever witnessed.
5. Anirudh Thapa (52 seconds)
The current Chennaiyin FC skipper showed his class in ISL 2020-21, by scoring in 52 seconds against Jamshedpur FC. A grounded cross from the right flank by Esmael Goncalves met Thapa at the brim of the 18-yard-box. The Indian international struck the ball clinically as it landed into the net. Jamshedpur FC goalkeeper TP Rehenesh’s diving attempt was not enough to prevent the ball from going in.
4. Mohammed Rafi (48 seconds)
Kerala Blasters’ Mohammed Rafi was already a veteran in Indian football when he scored in 48 seconds against FC Pune City in 2015. The assist came in the form of a cross from Chris Dagnall, to be headed by Rafi to beat Steve Simonsen between the posts.
Unfortunately, the Yellow Army still ended up losing, as Kalu Uche’s brace and Tuncay Sanli’s goal helped the Stallions win 3-2.
3. Chris Dagnall (29 seconds)
Chris Dagnall, who assisted Rafi’s goal as mentioned above, is a part of this list himself. The Englishman scored in the 29th second against hosts NorthEast United in ISL 2015. The goal came off an assist from Antonio German on the left flank.
The match ended in a 4-1 win for Kerala Blasters, with Dagnall scoring once again in the 76th minute and Cavin Lobo and Antoine German scoring the other two goals in the 21st and 75th minutes. Nicolas Velez scored the only goal for the Highlanders in the 91st minute.
2. Cleiton Silva (25 seconds)
A high-scoring encounter between Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City in the previous edition of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) saw the latter succumb to a 4-2 defeat.
The deadlock was broken in the 25th second itself, when Sunil Chhetri’s through ball from the middle of the park found Udanta Singh in the right side, who in return sent a cross into the box to Cleiton Silva. The Brazilian’s shot aimed at the top of the net gave little chance to the Islanders’ goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
1. Jerry Mawihmingthanga (23 seconds)
In 2018, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, then just 20-year-old and a part of Jamshedpur FC, went on to score in the 23rd second of the game against Kerala Blasters. This goal from Jerry remains the fastest-ever goal scored in the ISL till the time of writing this article. After a few quick passes, the ball fell to Ashim Biswas whose inaccurate shot resulted in Jerry picking up the ball and capitalise on his chance.