I-League by the numbers: Lajong continue winning run, Chhetri closes in on Bhutia


Shillong Lajong have won four successive matches in the I-League for the first time in their history. Their previous best was three consecutive wins, with victories over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Arrows and East Bengal in February 2012.


17 year-old Baoringdao Bodo became only the third Indian player under the age of 18 to score in NFL/I-League history, when he put Minerva Punjab 1-0 ahead against Mumbai FC. Before this, Dipendu Biswas (16) scored for Mohun Bagan in a 2-1 win over Churchill Brothers in Kolkata in December 1997 and 17 year-old Samuel Lalmuanpuia was one of Shillong Lajong's scorers in a 3-1 win over Aizawl in April 2016. When 19 year-old Anirudh Thapa scored the second goal for Minerva, it made it the first occasion of two Indian teenagers scoring for a team in an NFL/I-League match.


Mumbai FC have lost five consecutive I-League matches for only the third time in their history. The first such occasion came between a 4-0 defeat to Dempo on October 27, 2011 and a 1-0 loss to Churchill Brothers on November 20 that year. In January of the next year, during the same league season, Mumbai lost six consecutive matches, starting with a home defeat to Chirag Kerala and ending with a sixth straight loss, against Dempo at home.


Minerva Punjab's 2-1 win snapped a winless sequence of 10 games in the I-League for a team from Punjab. Minerva themselves were part of six of those matches, their first six in the history of the league. The last time that a team from the state won an I-League game was also at the Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana when JCT defeated Pune FC in 2011. JCT then lost three and drew one of their last four games of what turned out to be their final season in the league.


The number of goals scored by Indians in the I-League this season. This is three better than the 38 goals scored by foreign players. The top scorers list is dominated by foreign players, though, with Darryl Duffy and Aser Dipanda scoring six each. CK Vineeth with five goals, is the only Indian in the top five of the scoring charts.


Sunil Chhetri took his goals tally in the NFL/I-League to 88, bringing him to within one goal of Bhaichung Bhutia's Indian record of 89 goals. It was also his 23rd league goal for Bengaluru FC, which is the most he has scored for any club, surpassing the 22 goals he had for JCT.

With inputs by Gautam Roy, football historian and media manager of East Bengal football club.