Mizo striker Lalrinzuala becomes highest scorer in single season of I-League

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Mizo striker Lalrinzuala has etched his name in I-League history, becoming the highest Indian scorer in a single season. Lalrinzuala, who hails from Serchhip town in Mizoram, achieved this feat at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl.

In a thrilling match last week against Churchill Brothers, Lalrinzuala scored his 15th goal of the season, surpassing the previous record held by Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri. Alongside his impressive goal tally, Lalrinzuala has also provided three assists in the 18 matches he has played so far.

The previous record was jointly held by Sunil Chhetri, who netted 14 goals for Bengaluru FC in the 2013-14 season, and Mohammed Raif from Mahindra United, who achieved the same feat in the 2009-10 season of the I-League.

Celebrating his record-breaking goal in style, the 21-year-old striker took off his jersey after scoring his second goal against Churchill Brothers, revealing a message that read “Rinzuala 18” and waved it to the cheering crowd.

The young forward expressed his delight, stating that scoring goals in the I-League was always a dream, but breaking the record, especially one held by Sunil Chhetri, was beyond imagination. He credits his parents, teammates, and club owners for their unwavering support, attributing his and the team’s success to them.

Reflecting on his footballing journey, Lalrinzuala highlighted the deep passion for the sport within Mizo culture. His journey took a significant turn when he joined the Bengaluru FC academy at the age of 16, where he honed his skills representing various age group teams for three years.

Then, he joined the reserve team of Gokulam Kerala. During his time with Gokulam from 2018 to 2022, he showcased his skills and dedication on the field. Despite not ascending to the senior team, Lalrinzuala made significant contributions to Gokulam’s success. Notably, he played a pivotal role in securing victory for Gokulam in the Kerala Premier League during the 2020-21 season.

In addition to his club commitments, Lalrinzuala also represented Mizoram in the Santosh Trophy qualifier matches while being associated with Gokulam. Lalrinzuala was later signed up by Aizawl FC and scored five goals in I Day Football.

Looking ahead, Lalrinzuala expressed his desire to represent the Indian national team, although he acknowledged the challenges ahead. For time being, he emphasized his commitment to Aizawl FC, stating that he still has one year left with the club and remains focused on contributing to the team’s success.

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