Over 1,300 goals have been scored in more than 500 matches across the seven editions of the Indian Super League (ISL) so far.
From historic derby-day openers to match-winning net-busters, India’s premier football competition has witnessed some stunning goals over the years. Here are five of such memorable ISL goals.
First-ever ISL goal
Atletico de Kolkata’s Fikru Teferra Lemessa scored the first-ever ISL goal against Mumbai City FC in the inaugural match of the Indian Super League on October 12, 2014. The Ethiopian striker had taken just 27 minutes to write his name in the record books as he became the first-ever goal scorer in the history of the league.
While Fikru had scored the goal with a cheeky chip over Mumbai goalkeeper Subrata Paul to help the hosts secure a 3-0 win, it was his outrageous celebration after the goal had left the fans overawed. The Atletico de Kolkata striker had performed a well-executed backflip in front of a fully-packed Salt Lake Stadium to send the crowd into a frenzy. India’s premier football competition has never looked back since.
Sushanth Mathew’s stunner vs Chennaiyin FC
Kerala Blasters FC’s Sushant Mathew became an overnight sensation when he scored a stunning long ranger in front of his home fans to put the Tuskers 3-0 up against Chennaiyin FC in the first leg of the 2014 ISL semi-finals. With the hosts already leading 2-0, Sushant Mathew exchanged passes with Canadian Iain Hume, moved towards the opposition’s half, cut inside two defenders, and unleashed a 40-yard drive into the top corner. That goal had propelled Kerala Blasters into the final and it is still considered as one of the best goals ever scored in the ISL.
ATK's David Williams scores 1,000th goal of ISL
Australian striker David Williams etched his name in the history books of the league by scoring the 1000th ISL goal in the 2019-20 season. While Williams’ milestone goal was a simple one against Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, it was perhaps destiny that the 1,000th goal was scored by an ATK player.
The tournament’s first-ever goal was also scored by the player of the same club in 2014 and quite interestingly, under the same head coach - Antonio Lopez Habas.
The 1,000-goal milestone was reached in the 384th match with a total of 285 different players contributing to the tally. From Fikru to Williams, 196 overseas players contributed with 702 of these, while 89 Indian players accounted for the remaining 278 goals.
Rafael Crivellaro’s wonder goal against NorthEast United
Chennaiyin FC’s midfield maestro Rafael Crivellaro had scored a 50-yard wonder goal against NorthEast United FC, which was arguably the best goal in ISL season 6.
After he had received the ball near the halfway line, the Brazilian struck a stunning left-footed strike from almost halfway line, which flew past opposition’s custodian Subhasish Roy Chowdhury into the back of the net. The fans in the stadium were in utter disbelief after Crivellaro’s wonder strike.
"It was a fantastic goal. I think it might be the best goal of my career," Crivellaro said later.
Roy Krishna draws first blood in ISL Kolkata Derby
Roy Krishna created history as he scored the first ISL goal in the league’s maiden Kolkata Derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal in ISL 2020-21. Both teams had a fresh chance to redefine their rivalry and Roy Krishna did it in style as the Fijian striker had put the Mariners ahead in the 49th minute with a thunderous left-footed strike. Roy Krishna’s team-mate Manvir Singh struck another goal in the 85th minute to help ATKMB secure a 2-0 win over their arch-rivals.
With the world-famous rivalry stretching back over 100 years, the two football giants of the nation had already faced each other a whopping 371 times before this clash. Mohun Bagan, however, have been rechristened as ATK Mohun Bagan since their merger with three-time ISL champions ATK.
Feature Image Courtesy: Website/ Indian Super League