The Indian Super League has, over the years, served as the proving ground for some of the brightest up and coming talents in Indian football. For any fan of the beautiful game, watching young guns make a mark on the field is one of the most thrilling aspects associated with the sport and perhaps watching the youngsters announce themselves with a goal is the biggest draw of them all.
Looking back, here’s a list of the youngest goal scorers in the history of ISL.
Komal Thatal – 18 years 1 month 3 days (ATK)
The young prodigy captivated the nation with his bag of tricks and quick feet during the under-17 World Cup that India hosted back in 2017 and soon enough a move to ISL giants ATK FC followed.
Thatal, playing for ATK FC, became the youngest goal-scorer in the ISL when he scored against Bengaluru FC in the ISL 2018-19 season. The winger positioned himself intelligently for a through ball from Everton Santos and calmly slotted it past India national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. ATK eventually lost the match 1:2 but Thatal had already etched his name in the history books.
The Sikkim lad also became the youngest footballer to play in the Indian Super League when he made his debut for ATK in ISL 2017-18 aged just 17 years and 132 days. The record, however, was broken by NorthEast United FC’s Alfred Lalruotsang in ISL 2019-20.
Jerry Lalrinzuala – 18 years 4 months 1 day (Chennaiyin FC)
The 2016 ISL Emerging Player of the Season opened the account for Chennaiyin FC against FC Goa in the 2016 edition to add his name to the list of youngest goal-scorers in India’s top division league.
The left-back gave Chennaiyin FC an early lead with a set-piece from outside the penalty box. The left-footed defender sent the ball curling into the top-right corner by beating the wall to score in the 4th minute. Given the sheer force put into the kick, the keeper never had a chance. The match went on to be a goal-fest with nine goals being scored. Unfortunately, his team scored one less compared to FC Goa’s 5.
The Mizo-born is still plying his trade with Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League.
Malsawmzuala – 19 years 2 months 6 days (Delhi Dynamos FC)
Sawmtea, as he is fondly known, is a defensive midfielder who played at the AIFF Elite Academy before joining the I-League side Bengaluru FC in 2015. He went on loan to Delhi Dynamos in the 2016 ISL season where he scored his first goal that made him one of the youngest ever to score in the Indian Super League.
The midfielder came in as a substitute for Lalchhawnkima in the 72nd minute when his Delhi-based team was trailing 3 goals to 1 against FC Pune City. The teenager scored in the dying minutes when Pune’s keeper could not save the rebound after denying the initial effort from Malouda. The goal took the match to 4:3 but Delhi Dynamos ran out of time and eventually lost the match to Pune City.
The Mizoram-born player has also represented India in the under-19 level and currently offers his services at Jamshedpur FC.
By Sportz Interactive