Wasting no time to score the first goal is one of the thumb rules in football, as it indicates who gains authority early on in a fixture. In a competitive competition like the Indian Super League, scoring the fastest goal is one of the most difficult feats to achieve.
The ISL, India’s premier football tournament, has seen not just homegrown players but also overseas talent showcase their passion and hunger for goals, and in turn, keep rewriting records to continue the healthy competition amongst players.
There have been some lightning-fast goals across the eight editions of the ISL, and we take a look at those players who have had the honour of scoring the fastest goal in the Indian Super League.
David Williams - 12 seconds
ATK Mohun Bagan forward David Williams holds the record for scoring the fastest goal in the Indian Super League, after his 12-second strike against Hyderabad FC in ISL 2021-22.
After kick-off, all it took was seven one-touch passes for ATKMB to take a surprise lead - and more so - important for Williams who scored on his first start for the club in the eighth edition of the Indian Super League.
The Australian forward received a backheel pass from Hugo Boumous and took an extra touch before firing the ball past Hyderabad goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani from outside the box.
ATK Mohun Bagan eventually went on to draw 2-2 against Hyderabad FC.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga - 23 seconds
Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who previously held the record, will fondly remember his 23-second strike against Kerala Blasters in the 2017-18 ISL campaign as it was his maiden ISL goal.
The fleet-footed attacker took advantage of team-mate Ashim Biswas’ miscued attempt on goal and rounded up Kerala goalkeeper Paul Rachubka to slot it inside an empty net. Jerry returned the favour as he assisted Biswas in netting JFC’s second goal in the 31st minute.
At the final whistle, Jamshedpur FC walked away with a 2-1 win in front of the fans at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
Cleiton Silva - 25 seconds
Third on the list is Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva, who plies his trade with Bengaluru FC.
While Bengaluru’s 2020-21 season was one of their most forgettable campaigns in history, their performance against eventual champions Mumbai City stood out as one of the rare positives.
Just 18 seconds into the tie, skipper Sunil Chhetri played a through-ball to winger Udanta Singh who crossed it towards Silva. The Brazilian, who sprinted on from the left flank to the centre of the box, calmly slotted the ball past Amrinder Singh to give BFC the lead. Upon checking, Cleiton Silva found himself on the score sheet with a goal just 25 seconds into match 95 of ISL 2020-21.
Bengaluru, with braces from Silva and Chhetri, ran out 4-2 winners against Mumbai.
Chris Dagnall - 29 seconds
English forward Chris Dagnall etched his name in the records for scoring the then fastest goal in the Indian Super League in 2015.
During his run, the former Barnsley striker exchanged passes with Spanish winger Josu, who then passed to Antoine German on the left flank. The Blasters took the lead just 29 seconds into the game against NorthEast United FC when Dagnall met German's cross in the box.
The Englishman added a 76th-minute strike to his opening goal as Kerala returned with a 4-1 win away from home.
Mohammed Rafi - 48 seconds
While Chris Dagnall features on the list of players who scored the fastest goal in the Indian Super League, the Englishman is credited for having Mohammed Rafi earn a place in the record books.
The seasoned Indian striker met an inch-perfect cross from the right flank by Dagnall, who spotted Rafi unmarked inside the penalty box. As the timer reached 48 seconds, Mohammed Rafi made a giant leap and headed the cross fiercely past FC Pune City goalkeeper Steve Simonsen.
While Rafi scored a brace in the contest, it was not enough for Kerala Blasters as they went down 2-3 to the Stallions.
Author: William Paul
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Featured photo: ISL Media