ISL 2020-21: For the first time, all teams opt for Indian goalkeepers

ISL 2020: For the first time in seven seasons, the Indian Super League features an all Indian goalkeeper line-up for the 2020-21 season.

Sankar Roy played one match for SC East Bengal and made three saves this season.   -  sportzpics

The ongoing Indian Super League season is the first time in the league’s short history that all teams involved have opted for only Indian goalkeepers.

Each of the last six editions has witnessed at least one overseas shot-stopper. All eight sides in season one had a foreign keeper, while Odisha FC’s Francisco Dorronsoro was the only non-Indian between the sticks in 2019-20.

This change is because of the alteration in the composition of overseas players. In the first three years, the maximum foreigner-count allowed in the XI was six.

From the 2017-18 edition, when the number of teams increased from eight to ten, it became five. The 2020-21 season, which has 11 clubs, saw the implementation of the rule which calls for the mandatory inclusion of at least one player from an AFC country.

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Clubs are currently preferring to strengthen its outfield options with foreign recruits because keepers are usually not substituted unless there’s an injury. Here are the shot-stoppers who are regular starers in the 2020-21 ISL.

1) ATK Mohun Bagan – Arindam Bhattacharja

Arindam Bhattacharja has kept five cleansheets in seven matches this season.   -  sportzpics


Arindam Bhattacharja was part of the ATK team that won the title last season. After ATK’s merger with Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan, head coach Antonio Habas decided to retain Arindam. He has started all of ATKMB’s matches so far and has managed to complete four clean sheets while making 13 saves.

2) Bengaluru FC – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Bengaluru FC's Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has made 13 saves this season.


Gurpreet Singh is the only goalkeeper to win the golden glove award twice in ISL’s short history. He’s been with Bengaluru since the 2017-18 edition and has missed only four league games. Gurpreet played a crucial part in the 2018-19 championship win, while he has two clean sheets and 13 saves this time around.

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3) Chennaiyin FC – Vishal Kaith

Vishal Kaith has started all Chennaiyin FC's games this season.


Vishal Kaith had replaced Karanjit Singh as the No. 1 shot-stopper at Chennaiyin FC last year. He was one of the most important players during the outfit’s run to the final in 2019-20. Like Arindam and Gurpreet, Vishal has also started all of the side’s outings, accumulating nine saves and two clean sheets.

4) FC Goa – Mohammad Nawaz

Mohammad Nawaz will represent FC Goa in the AFC Champions League next year.   -  sportzpics


Mohammad Nawaz is enjoying his third season at FC Goa. At 20 years, he’s won the ISL League Winners’ Shield (2019-20) and the Hero Super Cup (2018-19). He’ll represent the side in the AFC Champions League next year. Nawaz has managed to keep one clean sheet and make nine saves this term.

5) Hyderabad FC – Subrata Paul and Laxmikant Kattimani

Experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul has made nine saves and kept two clean sheets this season.   -  sportzpics


The experienced Subrata Paul has started all but one game for Hyderabad FC this season. The former golden glove award winner with Jamshedpur FC is also the team’s current captain. Laxmikant Kattimani, who made two ISL finals with FC Goa, joined HFC in 2019. He has one save in 2020-21, while Subrata has nine saves and two clean sheets.

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6) Jamshedpur FC – T. P. Rehenesh and Pawan Kumar

T. P. Rehenesh is a key member in the Jamshedpur FC set-up.   -  sportzpics


ISL veteran T. P. Rehenesh, who was one of the few consistent players for a misfiring NorthEast United FC in the first four seasons, is Jamshedpur FC’s current No. 1, with two clean sheets and 18 saves to his name. However, No. 2 Pawan Kumar stepped in for two games when Rehenesh was injured, making five saves.

7) Kerala Blasters FC – Albino Gomes

Albino Gomes saved Jakub Sylvestr's penalty as Kerala Blasters held on to a 0-0 draw against Chennaiyin FC. - ISL/Sportzpics   -  ISL/Sportzpics


Albino Gomes had represented three teams – Mumbai City FC, Delhi Dynamos FC, Odisha FC – in the ISL before joining Kerala Blaster FC. He’s already equalled the most appearances he has made in a single season – 5 – at KBFC. Despite committing a few errors, Albino has kept one clean sheet and made ten saves in 2020-21.

8) Mumbai City FC – Amrinder Singh

Mumbai City FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh has kept four cleansheets this season.   -  ISL Media


Amrinder Singh, who won the I-League and Federation Cup with Bengaluru FC, joined Mumbai City FC in 2016. Since then, he’s won an ISL golden glove award with the club. Amrinder is the captain of the team currently, and he’s leading from the front with three clean sheets, and 12 saves this season.

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9) NorthEast United FC – Gurmeet Singh and Subhasish Roy

NEUFC goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh made 11 saves from five games this season.   -  sportzpics


Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, who had won the inaugural ISL title with ATK, was the first choice goalkeeper at NorthEast United FC. However, an injury against FC Goa brought Gurmeet Singh into the picture. The 21-year-old shot-stopper, with two clean sheets and 11 saves from five games, has now made the spot his own.

10) Odisha FC – Arshdeep Singh, Kamaljit Singh and Ravi Kumar

Arshdeep Singh made 17 saves in four matches for Odisha FC this season.   -  sportzpics


Odisha is the only team to use three goalkeepers in the tournament. Arshdeep Singh, with 13 saves, started the first match against Hyderabad. He was unavailable for the next outing, and Kamaljit Singh took his place. Kamaljit was injured during the Mumbai clash, paving the way for Ravi Kumar to debut. Eventually, Arshdeep returned as No. 1.

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11) SC East Bengal – Debjit Majumder and Sankar Roy

SC East Bengal's Debjit Majumder has made 11 saves in 6 matches this season.   -  sportzpics

Debjit Majumder is the starting custodian for SC East Bengal this season. Debjit, who has made nine saves, was not able to play more than 29 minutes against Jamshedpur. His deputy Sankar Roy kept a clean sheet that game, which is the only shutout for SCEB in ISL 2020-21. Sankar has also made three saves.

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