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I-League 2018-19: Willis Plaza and Pedro Manzi in Golden Boot race

2:55 AM GMT 04/02/2019
Willis Plaza Churchill
GOAL takes a look at the race for the Golden Boot this season...

The Golden Boot race in the 2018-19 season of the I-League is a two-horse race between between Willis Plaza and Pedro Manzi.

Churchill Brothers' Willis Plaza has kept himself on top of the charts with 16 goals from 15 matches which means a goal every 80.25 minutes for the 1284 minutes he has clocked so far. Most importantly, the Trinidad and Tobago striker has bagged the winner as many as on four occasions which has given Churchill 12 points.

Plaza's deceptive work rate has often left the opponents guessing. Despite putting down umpteen number of opportunities in front of goal, he still finds himself at the summit.

Close on the Trinidadian's heels is Chennai City FC's Pedro Manzi who has scored 13 from 12 games. The Spaniard's statistic of a goal every 73.31 minutes from 953 minutes spent on the pitch.

Manzi has recorded three hat-tricks and a brace among his goals in the six games he has scored in while Plaza has four braces and a hat-trick to his name this term.

The duo have had a major contribution in their respective teams' fight in the title race with Chennai City (30) just a point above Churchill Brothers.

The next closest player would be East Bengal's Jobby Justin, the highest among the Indians with eight goals from 13 matches. Justin has formed a good understanding with Jaime Colado.

Just outside the top three, Manzi's Spanish team-mates in Nestor Gordillo and Sandro Rodriguez have themselves chipped in with six and five goals respectively to form the top 10.

Topscorers*:

Player Team Goals
Willis Plaza Churchill Brothers 16
Pedro Manzi Chennai City FC 13
Jobby Justin East Bengal 8
Aser Dipanda Mohun Bagan 6
Nestor Gordillo Chennai City FC 6
Katsumi Yusa NEROCA FC 6
Felix Chidi NEROCA FC 5
Sandro Rodriguez Chennai City FC 5

*as on February 3, 2019.

Mohun Bagan's Aser Dipanda, despite falling out of order in a few matches, has found the back of the net six times in 15 appearances and at crucial junctures.

Similarly, NEROCA FC's Katsumi Yusa has missed a number of games due to injury but has been quick to fire in six goals in 11 appearances including the I-League's fastest goal at 13 seconds. The Japanese has also helped ease the pressure on team-mate Felix Chidi who has scored five times.