Top 5 Goals of the 2023-24 Indian Super League Season

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The Mariners lifted their first-ever ISL Shield this season

The 2023-24 Indian Super League season has seen a spectacular array of goals over a period of 6 months. A total of 385 goals were netted, with Dimitri Diamantakos bagging the Golden Boot with 13 goals to his name. Mohun Bagan Super Giant won the ISL Shield, while Mumbai City lifted the ISL Cup but truth be told, we saw an astonishing array of skill and guile from all teams across the board.

From bicycles to 30-yard belters, this season had it all. From intricate passing moves to some stellar free kicks, it was nothing but a delight to be able to witness them all. Here are our top picks for the best goal of the season:

#5 Daniel Chima Chukwu (Hyderabad vs Jamshedpur)

The Indian Super League has seen some spectacular overhead goals over the years but Daniel Chima’s strike against Hyderabad on December 21, 2023, ranks as one of the very best. Jamshedpur came into the clash on the back of a disappointing 0-1 defeat to Bengaluru and the Nigerian forward made it a point to lead the comeback with a thrilling hat-trick which included a sensational overhead strike.

The 33-year old got the first goal in the 5-0 drubbing that the Red Miners handed to the Nizams but it was his second one that got the record books talking. Youngster Mohammed Sanan guided the ball from the right flank into Jeremy Manzorro who then firmly headed it into the box for Chukwu. The forward delivered a delightful acrobatic jump which helped convert a half chance into the second goal of the night for the away side.

#4 Carl McHugh (Punjab vs Goa)

Carl McHugh made heads turn in Delhi with his thunderous strike against Punjab in the 3-3 draw on March 11, 2024. The Irish midfielder’s strike was the first goal of the match and was reminiscent of that iconic Paul Scholes thunderbolt against Barcelona in the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League. 

The Gaurs received back-to-back corners in the early stages of the game, and Borja Herrera’s pinpoint cross found the former ISL Cup winner inside the box and he unleashed a left-footed volley that rattled the net in style.

Punjab, however, came back into the game with a brace from Luka Majcen but Noah Sadaoui equalised for the away side once again. When Juan Mera made it 3-2 again for the home team, Carlos Martinez managed to find the back of the net to make it 3-3 and hand Goa their spot in the playoffs.

#3 Jay Gupta (Goa vs Odisha)

Jay Gupta announced himself in the Indian football scene in style

Jay Gupta has had a stellar season for the Gaurs this season and perhaps nothing underlined his excellence better than the stellar goal he scored against Odisha at home on October 7, 2023, handing his side a stunning 3-2 win.

Mourtada Fall and Noah Sadaoui’s braces cancelled each other out till the 96th minute when Jay decided to take matters into his own hand. Despite the end-to-end action, Goa was determined not to end the game with just a point and that is when the fullback made another marauding run into Odisha’s half. 

Victor Rodriguez fed the ball into Jay, who unleashed a furious shot into the top right corner of the goal from the left side of the box. It is a strike that the Goa faithful will remember for ages and one that certainly heralded that a new hero has arrived at Fatorda Stadium.

#2 Phalguni Singh(North East United vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant)

Another midfielder who impressed this season was North East United’s Phalguni Singh whose striker against the Mariners on December 15, 2023, in Guwahati underlined his class. 

The midfielder struck in the 4th minute in front of a raucous home crowd as Jithin M.S crawled his way out from a tight spot and headed the ball in front of the 29-year-old who took the ball in his stride outside the Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s box. He dared to do the impossible, as he curled the ball and it went rifling into the top corner.

Although the Kolkata-based side came back and ended up winning the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Deepak Tangri, Jason Cummings and Subhasish Bose, Phalguni’s wonder strike is truly worthy of applause.

#1 Adrian Luna(Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur)

Luna’s strike was certainly the most memorable goal of the season

Despite having missed most of the ISL season due to his injury, Adrian Luna is the kind of player who always makes an impact no matter how little he plays. His tantalising goal against Jamshedpur on the 1st of October, 2023 at home in Kochi is in our opinion, the goal of the season.

It was Luna who engineered the move, but you could see how multiple players were involved in the move. Daisuke Sakai, Dimitrios Diamantakos and Luna all combined to produce a breath-taking combo, somewhat similar to that unforgettable Jack Wilshere goal for Arsenal against Norwich in the 2013-14 Premier League season. 

Sakai found Diamantakos in space inside the box and fed him the ball, which in turn backheeled to the Uruguayan magician. The 31-year-old kept a cool head and calmly slotted the ball home against an onrushing goalkeeper to seal the deal in the 74th minute.