Top Indian goal-scorers from Hero ISL 2020-21
Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 came to a close on Saturday night as Mumbai City FC beat ATK Mohun Bagan to become the new champions of India. This past season witnessed a lot of action with plenty of Indian players stepping up and making telling contributions to their respective teams’ fortunes. Their performances haven’t gone unnoticed with several of them being rewarded with national call-ups by Igor Stimac. Here we take a closer look at the top-5 Indian goal-scorers from Hero ISL 2020-21.
The least surprising aspect about this list of leading Indian goal-scorers from Hero ISL 2020-21 is that the evergreen Sunil Chhetri tops it. The personification of consistency, Chhetri continues to be India’s top marksman despite Bengaluru FC not enjoying the best of campaigns. The Indian legend top-scored for the Blues with eight goals and also provided two assists for the former Hero ISL champions. One of Bengaluru FC’s best players in an otherwise underwhelming campaign, Chhetri remains the benchmark for all aspiring Indian strikers to meet.
If Chhetri topping this list was expected, Bipin Singh’s inclusion comes as a surprise since not many would have predicted him to be among the top-five Indian goal-scorers at the start of the campaign. Bipin enjoyed a coming-of-age season with the Islanders and received praise from head coach Sergio Lobera as well as national coach Stimac. Scorer of the only hat-trick in Hero ISL 2020-21, Bipin also netted the winning goal for Mumbai City FC in the final. He scored six goals and provided four assists, putting him equal with Chhetri in terms of goal contributions.
Manvir Singh is another Indian talent who enjoyed a fine season. Playing for ATK Mohun Bagan, Manvir was a constant threat to opposition defences throughout the season. He was a headache for fullbacks to deal with in the wide areas and scored some spectacular goals courtesy of his quick feet and searing pace. The Indian international scored six goals for the Mariners and provided three assists for them in what was his most productive Hero ISL campaign yet.
One Indian talent who stood out despite not enjoying much gametime was FC Goa forward Ishan Pandita. Playing his first campaign in the Hero ISL, Pandita didn’t look out of place whenever given the opportunity to impress by the Gaurs’ head coach Juan Ferrando. Used as a substitute, Pandita made the most of his limited chances by scoring important goals to help his team earn crucial points. His ability to net vital goals as a substitute became uncanny at one point with a sense of expectation surrounding his entry into games. Pandita netted four goals for FC Goa despite being on the pitch just for 131 minutes in Hero ISL 2020-21.
Halicharan Narzary was one of Hyderabad FC’s most influential players, especially in the first half of the campaign during which he was unplayable at times. The Indian winger was a big goal threat for Manuel Marquez’s men and scored some spectacular goals for Hyderabad FC. He caused all sorts of trouble for opposition fullbacks in some matches, proving to be a handful to deal with. Even though his form tailed off a bit towards the latter half of the league stage, Narzary scored more goals (4) than any other Indian player from Hyderabad.