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Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Breaks The Record of Highest-ever Goals Scored by an Indian in a Single Season of the I-League

Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia has etched his name in the annals of history by surpassing the record for the highest number of goals scored by an Indian footballer in a single season of the I-League. Formerly, this record was shared by renowned Indian players Sunil Chhetri (14) did in 2013-14, and Mohammed Rafi.

Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Image Credits Twitter Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Breaks The Record of Highest-ever Goals Scored by an Indian in a Single Season of the I-League
Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia, Image Credits- Twitter

In an electrifying I-League match against Churchill, Lalrinzuala netted two goals for Aizawl FC, securing a brace and adding to his remarkable achievement.

Read More: Top 10 Fastest Goals Scored in History of Men’s International Football 

Who is Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia?

At 23 years of age, Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia has amassed an impressive tally of 15 goals and three assists across 18 appearances for Aizawl FC in the I-League.

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Prior to Lalbiaknia’s remarkable feat, Sunil Chhetri and Mohammed Rafi had each scored 14 goals in 23 appearances within the I-League. The intense competition within the second tier of the Indian football league system underscores the magnitude of Lalbiaknia’s consistent excellence, highlighting the depth of his talent.

Lalbiaknia’s emergence as a rising star in Indian football is further evidenced by his breaking of Chhetri’s legendary record, marking him as a player of immense promise and potential.

Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia’s journey in football began through the developmental ranks of Bengaluru FC and Gokulam Kerala, later making appearances for Delhi FC before finding his place in Aizawl FC after his tenure with Chhinga Veng FC. Known for his prowess in scoring goals, Lalbiaknia thrives in the No.9 role, a position that will assume significant importance following the imminent retirement of Sunil Chhetri from international football.

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Thanks to Lalbiaknia’s remarkable goal-scoring abilities, Aizawl FC currently holds the ninth position in what has otherwise been a lackluster campaign. With 15 goals to his credit, Lalbiaknia sits second in the Golden Boot race, narrowly trailing Alejandro Lopez of Gokulam Kerala FC, who has netted 16 goals.

As the summer transfer window approaches, a fierce competition for Lalbiaknia’s signature is expected to unfold. Numerous Indian Super League clubs have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the services of this prolific Indian goal-scorer to reinforce their attacking line. It remains to be seen how far the 23-year-old will extend his record of being the highest-scoring Indian player in a single I-League season before the culmination of the campaign.

Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Image Credits Twitter 1 Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Breaks The Record of Highest-ever Goals Scored by an Indian in a Single Season of the I-League
Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia, Image Credits- Twitter

My dream is to represent India some day. That’s my main goal,” Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia said on Friday.

Before Thursday, Lalbiaknia’s name was relatively unknown to most, except for the dedicated followers of Indian football. It was on that day when the Aizawl FC striker shattered the record previously held by Sunil Chhetri and Mohammad Rafi for the most goals scored in a single I-League season, bringing him into the spotlight.

I cannot describe the feeling in words,” Lalbiaknia told TOI from Aizawl. “I did not expect to break their record but I feel amazing that I have done that.”

The outstanding performance of the 23-year-old, scoring 15 goals in 18 matches during his debut season with Aizawl FC, has been a shining light in an otherwise lackluster campaign for the club, currently positioned in 9th place in the I-League standings. However, it was on Thursday that he truly captured attention, not only on the field with a brace in Aizawl FC’s 4-0 victory over Churchill Brothers but also becoming a trending topic on social media as he surpassed the goal-scoring records of Chhetri and Rafi.

Selection Dilemma as I-League Talent Shines Amid National Team Struggles

His achievement comes at a time when the Indian national team has been struggling to find the back of the net, managing only two goals in four matches of the World Cup Qualifiers. Head coach Igor Stimac has cited a shortage of options in the attacking department, pointing out the limited opportunities for Indian attackers to play in their preferred positions for their ISL clubs.

Despite this backdrop, the young talent, who hails from the Bengaluru FC academy, has attracted attention from several Indian Super League clubs due to his remarkable form. This has brought into focus the perceived oversight of talents from the previous top-division league by Stimac, who has faced criticism for his apparent absence even at ISL matches.

I can’t comment on that. It’s not my place to say this,” the shy Mizo youngster said when asked if I-League players like him deserve a place in the national team. “All I can say is that the foreigners in ISL are definitely better than the foreign players in I-League.”

Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Image Credits Twitter 1 1 Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia Breaks The Record of Highest-ever Goals Scored by an Indian in a Single Season of the I-League
Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia, Image Credits- Twitter

Despite his modesty, data reveals that there are five Indian players among the top 15 goal-scorers in the second-tier league, while only one features in the top goal-scorers’ list of the premier ISL division. Nevertheless, Stimac opted to call up Vikram Partap Singh, a striker for Mumbai City FC who ranks seventh on the ISL goal-scoring list with seven goals in 18 matches.

However, the inclusion of the ISL forward in both home and away fixtures against Afghanistan did not alter the outcome for the Indian team, as the sole goal scored came from a penalty by Chhetri during his 150th international appearance, resulting in a defeat for India in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Yet, Lalbiaknia’s impressive tally of 15 goals, along with his eight assists thus far, has ignited a discussion regarding the rationale behind overlooking in-form and talented players from the I-League when selecting the Indian national team.

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