By the numbers: Mohun Bagan soar past 600 goals in national league
As Mohun Bagan becomes only the third team after East Bengal and Churchill Brothers to score 600 goals in NFL/I-League history, ESPN looks at a few interesting numbers behind the feat.
The first goal for Mohun Bagan was scored by Dipendu Biswas in their second NFL game in 1997-98. Bagan had failed to qualify for the Super League stage of the first NFL in 1996-97, and began their maiden season with a 1-0 defeat away to Air India. Biswas' goal set them on their way to a 2-1 win at home over Churchill Brothers in their second game. They would go on to win the league that season -- the first of four national titles.
With 94 goals in NFL/I-League, Brazil's Jose Barreto comfortably leads the all-time goal-scoring tally for Bagan. Barreto turned out for the team for 11 seasons -- winning the NFL in 2000 and 2002 -- and was the club's top scorer for the season in six of them. His 14 goals in 2000-01 won him the only Golden Boot among all players. Second and third place in Mohun Bagan's all-time scoring tally are held by Odafa Okolie (51) and Bhaichung Bhutia (25).
Mohun Bagan have scored 258 of their goals in away games of NFL/I-League history. In six out of 21 seasons, including the current one, they have scored more goals in away matches than at home. They scored an equal share of home and away goals in two further seasons. However, they failed to win the league in any of these seasons.
With 11 goals in Mohun Bagan's second NFL title-winning run in 1999-2000, Uzbekistan's Igor Shkvyrin was the first Golden Boot winner in an NFL/I-League season for Mohun Bagan -- a feat that has only been matched since by Jose Barreto. Shkvyrin was an Uzbekistan international who also won the 1994 Asian Games gold for football. He returned the following year for Churchill Brothers and scored 12 goals to finish two goals behind Barreto.
Mohun Bagan's Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa's first of two goals in their 2014-15 season opener against Mumbai FC was the 500th goal for the club in NFL/I-League history. It was also current coach Sanjoy Sen's first I-League game, and since then they have been the most consistent team across all seasons, with most wins (31), fewest defeats (7), most goals scored (101) and least conceded (47).
Five Indian players have scored the most goals for Mohun Bagan in one season, though four of them ended up as joint-scorers across two different seasons for the club. Bhaichung Bhutia remains the lone solo Indian top-scorer, getting nine of 22 goals in the first I-League in 2007-08. IM Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri were joint top scorers with five each in 1998-99, while Ashim Biswas and Renedy Singh scored five goals, the same as Jose Barreto, to lead the charts in the 2003-04 season.
Mohun Bagan's most prolific season in terms of goals scored came in 2011-12, when they scored 51 goals across 26 games, with Okolie scoring 26 goals in his first season for Bagan. It was not enough to win the league though, as Dempo were crowned champions for the fifth and last time in their history, with Ranti Martins scoring 32 of their 59 goals for the season.
With inputs by Gautam Roy, football historian and media manager of East Bengal football club.