James Moga's 14-second strike and the previous top five fastest goals in I-League history
South Sudan international striker James Moga’s first goal for Pune FC in their 2-2 draw with United Sikkim on Saturday came after 14 seconds and is now officially the fastest goal in the combined history of the National Football League (NFL) and I-League. Sportskeeda lists the previous top five fastest goals
21 seconds: Suley Musah (East Bengal) vs Tollygunge Agragami (2001-02)
The Ghanaian defender was East Bengal’s skipper in their historic ASEAN Cup triumph in 2003. But 18 months before that victory, Musah created some individual history as he netted the fastest goal in the NFL. Musah started at right back in this match against Tollygunge Agragami at the Salt Lake Stadium and opened the scoring after 21 seconds. East Bengal went on to win the game 2-1 but the day belonged to the man from Ghana.
23 seconds Gilbert Oliveira (Salgaocar) vs Chirag United (Now Prayag United) (2010-11)
Your first game in the top flight is never easy but young Salgaocar winger Gilbert Oliveira showed no signs of nervousness as he scored within 23 seconds of his debut. The goal was a wonderful strike from just outside the box and was by far the best goal in Salgaocar’s 4-3 triumph over Chirag (now Prayag United). Gilbert, an Arsenal fan, scored another in the game to announce his arrival in the Indian football scene in some style.
25 seconds Izumi Arata (Mahindra United) vs Dempo (2008-09)
The Japanse-born Arata, who is now an Indian citizen, didn’t have the best of spells when he arrived in India to play for East Bengal. But he had a much better stint at Mahindra United and this goal after 25 seconds against Dempo was one of the highlights. Arata showed great predatory instincts to open the scoring after Dempo failed to clear the danger from a Steven Dias cross. Dempo won the game 3-2 but Arata had his own personal moment to cherish.
28 seconds Baljit Sahni (JCT) vs Dempo (2008-09)
Baljit Sahni was adjudged FPAI (Football Player’s Association of India) Young Player of the Year in 2009 for the outstanding season he had for JCT in 2008-09. One of his best performances came in this game as his brace saw JCT beat defending champions Dempo 2-1 in Ludhiana. The first of those goals came after 28 seconds as Baljit latched on to a pass from Eduardo Escobar before showing great composure to find the back of the net.
31 seconds Abhishek Yadav (Mumbai FC) vs Mohun Bagan (2009-10)
Mumbai FC had upset Mohun Bagan 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata in their debut season in the top flight in 2008-09. The following season too they achieved the same result at the Vidyasagar Stadium in Barasat. It was India striker Abhishek Yadav who gave Mumbai a dream start by heading home a cross past Shilton Paul. That goal from the political science post-graduate came after only 31 seconds.
Statistics provided by Hariprasad Chattopadhyay