I-League 2018-19: Indian Arrows’ Rohit Danu becomes the youngest goalscorer of the tournament
Indian Arrows player Rohit Danu got his name registered in the history books when he became the youngest player to score in the I-League. It was Danu’s only goal that made the difference against Aizawl FC, as Arrows picked up their third win in this campaign.
Luck might have favoured the young player a little bit. He was given a rare start by Indian Arrows coach Floyd Pinto on Saturday. Danu cleverly made the opportunity count with a goal as early as in the 14th minute.
Danu has to give much of the credit to his teammate Khumanthem Meetei. It was Meetei who initiated the move by skipping past two Aizawl defenders before latching a brilliant ball to Danu. The latter cleverly beat the offside trap to edge the ball past Aizawl goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh.
At 16 years, five months and 27 days, Danu beats his teammate Jitendra Singh, who scored against Shillong Lajong in December 2017 when he was 16 years, six months and 13 days.
So now, both the youngest and second-youngest goal-scorers belong from All India Football Federation’s developmental side.
A product from AIFF Elite Academy, Uttarakhand-born Danu had to cope with disappointment when he missed out a berth in the U-17 World Cup squad, due to an ankle injury, which he picked up while playing for a preparative tournament.
After coming back, he has been showing a prolific form. During India’s U-16 team’s exposure tour in July last year, Danu has found the net for a couple of times.
He scored the opening goal in a friendly match against Malaysia’s U-16 team to secure a victory. He scored his second against U-17 squad of Thailand’s club Buriram United.
The win against Aizawl FC will be a major boost for his side, which is playing far better football than last season.
Most of the players have already gained valuable experience of playing in the I-League and they are gradually developing themselves to produce an attacking brand of football.
Arrows’ earlier victories this season include the one against all-Indian side Shillong Lajong and Gokulam Kerala FC.
But a victory against Aizawl FC, which have players like Ansumanah Kromah, Leonce Dodoz, Alfred Jaryan, would only boost their confidence when they face East Bengal in their next match.