Dry opening day, Aizawl's first and Chennai's 13-year wait


The number of days after which the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai, hosted an NFL/I-League match when Chennai City played fellow debutants Minerva Punjab FC. The last match in May 2004 involved Indian Bank, who lost 4-1 to a Mohun Bagan team for whom Mehtab Hossein and Sunil Chhetri scored one goal each.


The last time a Goan club began their I-League campaign with a win -- this year Churchill Brothers lost 1-0 to Mohun Bagan. On September 21, 2013, Salgaocar beat then-champions Churchill Brothers 1-0. The same year, Sporting Clube de Goa were held while Dempo were beaten by Shillong Lajong in the opening round. A season later, Dempo, Salgaocar and Sporting Clube de Goa were all held to draws, while Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar both began with defeats in the 2015-16 season.


The last time an NFL/I-League kicked off without all-time top-scorer Ranti Martins on any of the team's rosters. He joined Dempo the following year, where he played until 2012. Stints at United Sports Club and Rangdajied United were followed by two seasons at East Bengal, with Martins finishing top-scorer for the season each time. After 214 goals in the league, he has now signed with Penang in Malaysia, the same club that has former Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood as manager.


Mohun Bagan got their 44th goal in all NFL/I-League matches against Churchill Brothers. Both teams have now scored the same number of goals against each other, though Bagan lead the head-to-head 11-6 in 35 league meetings. The goalscorer, Balwant Singh, had netted twice for Churchill Brothers the last time the teams met -- in a 2-2 draw in February 2014.


The number of years after which Mumbai FC won their opening match in an I-League season, beating DSK Shivajians 1-0 at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai. Their last win to open a campaign came in October 2011, when they beat cross-town rivals Air India 4-1. In the intermediate seasons, they lost two and drew two of their opening matches in the I-League.


The total number of goals scored on the opening day of the season is the second lowest over the past five years. Bengaluru FC contributed three of the goals, while East Bengal and Aizawl FC scored one goal each. The poorest return was in 2014-15, when two matches -- including a goalless draw in Bengaluru between the hosts and Dempo -- produced just two goals. The 2015-16 and 2013-14 seasons each started with seven goals on the opening day, while 2012-13 saw 15 goals in four matches, including 3-2 wins for both United Sikkim and Pailan Arrows.


Aizawl FC picked up their first point in three I-League meetings against East Bengal. They could easily have made it three since they were leading 1-0 for 89 minutes of the game -- but then East Bengal defender Ivan Bukenya scored his first league goal as a second-half substitute. This was also Aizawl's first away goal in two meetings against East Bengal.