NorthEast United FC's midfielder Alfred Lalruotsang became the youngest player to step foot in an ISL match after he came on for Andrew Keogh in the 81st minute in their match against Hyderabad FC. The teenager born on June 26, 2003, breaks the previously held record of ATK's Komal Thatal.
The latter was aged 17 years, 4 months, and 10 days when he made his debut whereas Alfred is aged 16 years, 7 months, and 29 days on the matchday according to the documents submitted to ISL.
NorthEast United FC was trailing 1-4 to Hyderabad FC in their second-last home game of the season when Andrew Keogh signalled to the bench that he wanted to come off as he sustained a leg injury. With only Lalthathanga Khawlhring and Alfred Lalruotsang at his disposal, interim head coach Khalid Jamil opted for the latter and brought him on.
The forward had 9 touches of the ball, made 7 passes, and committed one tackle and block each in his debut. Alfred previously made an appearance off the bench in NorthEast United's friendly match against East Bengal FC which they played mid-season.
Alfred caught the eye of Bengaluru FC scouts while playing for the Numaligarh Refinery Limited academy in Assam and made the switch to their U-15 team. Alfred was even a part of their squad that reached the finals of last season's Hero Junior League, scoring 12 goals in the process.
Although his team lost the match to Minerva Punjab, he did enough attention to secure the attention of NorthEast United FC scouts and made the switch to their senior team.
NorthEast United FC sits at the ninth spot in the points table with 13 points from 17 matches. They will lock horns with Chennaiyin FC in their last fixture of this ISL season on Tuesday. With injury cloud hovering over Andy Keogh and no other striker available for the team, Khalid Jamil might give the young Alfred his first start of the season.Published 20 Feb 2020, 22:22 IST