Lalpekhlua in 2018
|Full name||Jeje Lalpekhlua Fanai|
|Date of birth||7 January 1991|
|Place of birth||Hnahthial, Mizoram, India|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|2010–2011||→ Pailan Arrows (loan)||15||(13)|
|2014||→ Chennaiyin (loan)||13||(4)|
|2016||→ Mohun Bagan (loan)||14||(4)|
|2017||→ Mohun Bagan (loan)||17||(5)|
| * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 05:05, 2 December 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 November 2019
Jeje Lalpekhlua (born 7 January 1991) is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a central forward for the India national football team and SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League.
He is the second-highest Indian goalscorer in the Indian Super League since its inception, and he is the record highest goalscorer for Chennaiyin FC In 2015, he won the I-league with Mohun Bagan and the Indian Super League with Chennaiyin, and was subsequently named the FPAI Football Player of the Year.
Born in the small village of Hnahthial in Mizoram, Lalpekhlua was born in a football fanatic family. His father and elder brother played for a local Mizoram club – The Model Sporting Club, while his uncle represented Mizoram in the Santosh Trophy. Lalpekhlua made his debut for the Model Sporting Club four months after his father had retired from the club.
Despite as initial hesitation from his parents in pursuing football professionally, Lalpekhlua came to light after a spectacular performance at the Wai Wai Cup held in Mizoram. On account of his strong performance, Lalpekhlua made it to the Mizoram U-19 team. He impressed youth coach Colm Toal at the U-19 selection camp in Gwalior and got selected for U19 qualifiers.
Jeje was spotted by the Pune FC scouts and he signed for the Red Lizards at the age of 16.Initially playing in their youth setup, Jeje would make his senior debut for Pune, who were then in the I-League 2nd Division, during the 2009 I-League 2nd Division season. The then 18-year old, scored against Sporting Goa on 17 October 2009 in a 2-2 draw, during the 2009–10 I-League season. He scored again in the same season against Chirag United in a 1-1 draw.
On 1 July 2010, Jeje signed for I-League newcomers Pailan Arrows on a one-year loan basis from parent club Pune for the 2010-11 I-League season. The Pailan Arrows team was only made up of Indian under-19 players.During the 2010 Indian Federation Cup, he scored 1 goal for Pailan Arrows in the two games he played. On 3 December 2010, Jeje took part in Pailan Arrows first I-League game, against Chirag United, in a 2-1 loss. On 8 December 2010, Lalpekhlua scored his first ever goal for Pailan Arrows against ONGC FC in a 1-1 draw. After that, Jeje went on a huge goal-scoring run and earned a lot of praise by many top AIFF personnel. On 13 March 2011, Jeje scored 4 goals against Air India in an I-League match which ended in a 5–2 win. He again scored 4 goals against Mohun Bagan in a thrilling 5-4 win, on 29 May which also was his last match for the club. He finished his stellar season with 13 goals in 15 appearances, also becoming the top-scoring Indian player of the season. On 26 September 2011, he won the FPAI Best Young Player Award for the 2010–11 season, beating out players like Raju Gaikwad and Lenny Rodrigues.
On 7 July 2011, it was announced that Lalpekhlua was to return to his parent club Pune for the 2011-12 I-League season.Lalpekhlua made his first start and his first overall game for Pune since his return from Pailan Arrows, on 17 September 2011 during the Federation Cup group stage match against Dempo in a 2-1 win. Jeje then scored his second goal in the Federation Cup on 19 September 2011 against East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium in a 2-1 loss. Jeje started the 2011–12 I-League season as a regular starter for Pune. In the second game of the season he scored his first goal in the 78th minute to make the score a 1–2 against Sporting Goa, which ended 2–2 on 28 October 2011. Jeje continued his scoring form in the next match as he scored against Chirag United in what was Pune's first win of the season in a 3–1 win on 1 November 2011. He then scored another goal in the I-League against Dempo in the 26th minute on 19 November 2011. Despite the goal, Pune still lost the match 3–1. On 3 January 2012, Jeje came on as a substitute and scored in the 36th minute against Mohun Bagan in a 2-1 win, which also was his last goal of the season. He finished the season with 5 goals.
Jeje scored his first goal of the season in the 51st minute, against now dissolved United Sikkim in the 2012 Indian Federation Cup in a 1-0 win, on 20 September 2012.Jeje then scored in the club's first game of the 2012-13 I-League season on 8 October 2012, in a 3-2 win against ONGC when he converted from the spot kick. He again scored 3 days after, against Mumbai in another 3-2 win. He made his final appearance for the club against Air India on 28 April 2012. He finished the I-League season with 5 goals in 19 appearances.
On 15 June 2013, Jeje signed for Dempo on a two-year contract.Jeje made his debut for the Goan side during the 2013-14 I-League season, on 22 September 2013 against Shillong Lajong, in which he came on as a substitute for Mandar Rao Dessai in the 55th minute, as Dempo lost the match 3-0. He scored his first goal of the club, a week later, against Mumbai in a 1-1 draw. He scored his 5th and final goal for the club against his former club Pune, on 28 April 2014 in a 3-0 win.
On 28 May 2014, it was announced that Jeje would sign a one-year deal with Mohun Bagan.On 11 August 2014, Jeje scored in his debut, in the 41st minute by earning and converting a penalty, in what proved to be the only goal in a 1–0 win in a match against Tollygunge Agragami in the Calcutta Football League. On 11 August 2014, Jeje scored in his debut, in the 41st minute by earning and converting a penalty, in what proved to be the only goal in a 1–0 win in a match against Tollygunge Agragami in the Calcutta Football League.
In 1 September 2014, Jeje was loaned out to Chennaiyin for the inaugural 2014 ISL season by Mohun Bagan.On 15 October 2014, Jeje made his debut for the club against Goa, coming on as a substitute for Balwant Singh in the 80th minute. He scored his first goal for the club on 28 October 2014, against Mumbai City in the 26th minute in a thumping 5-1 win. On 16 December 2014, Jeje scored a crucial goal for Chennaiyin against Kerala Blasters in the 2nd leg semi-final playoffs, which took the game to extra time, but they unfortunately lost the game in the extra time period due to a 117th minute goal from Stephen Pearson . He finished the season with 4 goals in 13 appearances, which also made him the top-scoring Indian of the season.
On 31 December 2014, Jeje returned to his parent club Mohun Bagan after his loan spell with Chennaiyin for the 2014–15 I-League season. On 28 January 2015, he made his I-League debut for Mohun Bagan against Salgaocar, coming on a substitute for Balwant Singh in the 76th minute in a 0-0 draw.He scored his only goal of the 2014-15 I-League season against his former club Pune on 25 April 2015 in a 2-0 win.
Jeje was retained by Chennaiyin for the 2015 Indian Super League season.He scored his first goal of the season in the opening match on 3 October 2015, against defending champions ATK in a 3-2 loss. He scored his first career ISL brace against then ISL club Delhi Dynamos on 24 November 2015 in a 4-0 thrashing. He also scored in the 1st leg of the semi-final playoffs against ATK on 12 December 2015 in a 3-0 win. He played in the 2015 Indian Super League Final on 20 December 2015, winning the 2015 ISL title for the first time. He finished the season with 6 goals and 3 assists in 11 appearances. He was also chosen as the Emerging Player of the Season.
On 8 January 2016, Jeje was loaned to Mohun Bagan by parent club Chennaiyin for the 2015-16 I-League campaign.On his return back, he scored his first goal against Tampines Rovers in the preliminary round of the qualifying stage for the 2016 AFC Champions League group stage, which ended in a 3-1 win. He then scored his first league goal of the season on 13 February 2016, against eventual champions Bengaluru in a 2-0 win. On 24 February 2016, Jeje scored a brace against Maziya in the 2016 AFC Cup group stage match, in a 5-2 drubbing. He again scored a brace against Yangon United in the 2016 AFC Cup group stage match, on 16 March 2016, in a thrilling 3-2 win. He finished the 2015-16 I-League season with 4 goals in 14 appearances, finishing runner-up to Bengaluru in the process. He also had a productive AFC Cup campaign, chipping in with 6 goals in 7 appearances. He started the 2015–16 Indian Federation Cup campaign by scoring a brace against Salgaocar in the quarter-final 1st leg 3-2 win. He then scored a hat-trick against Shillong Lajong in the semi-final 1st leg 5-0 drubbing, on 8 May 2016. On 21 May 2016, he capped off his exceptional season with Mohun Bagan, by scoring in the final against Aizawl and winning his first Federation Cup trophy. He was adjudged as the top goal-scorer of the 2015-16 Indian Federation Cup campaign with 8 strikes. He was named as the Best Indian Player by his fellow professionals for his stupendous 2016-17 season.
Lalpekhlua started the first match of the 2016 Indian Super League season away from home against Kolkata, providing an assist in a match that ended 2–2. He scored his first goal of the season against Pune from a long ball from Jerry which he lobbed above Pune goalkeeper Edel.
On 23 February 2011 Lalpekhlua played his first game and scored his first goal for the Indian U-23 team in the 2–1 victory over the Myanmar U-23 team.On 21 March 2011, Lalpekhlua made his debut for the senior India national football team in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification against Chinese Taipei and scored a goal. On 23 March 2011, Lalpekhlua scored two more goals in his second match for the Indian national football team against Pakistan in another AFC Challenge Cup Qualification match. On 25 March he scored 4th goal of his international career against Turkmenistan which helped India tie the match. During India's second leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against the United Arab Emirates on 28 July 2011, Lalpekhlua scored a goal to help India to a 2–2 draw at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi, India but India still were knocked-out 5–2 on aggregate after losing the away leg 3–0. Then on 16 November 2011, Lalpekhlua scored in the 47th minute for India against Malaysia in a Friendly played at the Salt Lake Stadium. The match ended 3–2 in favour of India. After impressing in a trial with Rangers of Scotland, Lalpekhlua participated in his first competitive tournament, the SAFF Cup and started the first match of the tournament against Afghanistan on 3 December 2011. He then scored his first goal of the tournament on 7 December 2011 against Sri Lanka. Then he followed it up by scoring his second goal of the tournament in the Final as India managed to beat Afghanistan 4–0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on 11 December 2011. He played a sensational game against Lebanon U22 and scored brace in that match, he came up in 65min from the bench. He scored his 10th and 11th goal against Maldives in the Saff Cup semifinals. He recently scored a goal against Puerto Rico in an International friendly played in Mumbai, making it 7 goals in his last 7 games for the Indian National side. He scored only goal for India against Kyrgyzstan on 27 March 2018 but later his goal proved to be just a consolation goal for INDIA since India lost 2-1 to Kyrgyzstan in their last Asian cup qualifier game.
He scored the only goal in a win against Afghanistan in the SAFF Cup group stage match in Bangladesh. He led the Indian U19 team to the South Asian games in Sri Lanka. In the last group stage match he scored a hat-trick against Pakistan in a 5–1 win. He also scored four goals in his first three senior appearances for the India national football team. He also played a crucial role in India's 2011 SAFF Cup championship victory. In the 2015 SAFF Cup, he scored 3 goals, including an equalizer in the final as India won 2–1 after extra time.
Statistics accurate as of 7 November 2020
|Club||Season||League||Federation Cup/Super Cup||Durand Cup||Continental||Total|
|Pune||2009||I-League 2nd Division||2||3||0||0||0||0||–||–||2||3|
|Pailan Arrows (loan)||2010–11||I-League||15||13||1||1||0||0||–||–||16||14|
|Chennaiyin (loan)||2014||Indian Super League||13||4||–||–||–||–||–||–||13||4|
|Mohun Bagan (loan)||2015–16||14||4||5||8||–||–||9||7||28||19|
|Mohun Bagan Total||43||10||14||9||0||0||18||12||75||31|
|East Bengal||2020–21||Indian Super League||0||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||0||0|
|India national team|
|1.||5 December 2009||Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh||Afghanistan||1–0||1–0||2009 SAFF Championship|
|2.||23 February 2011||Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune, India||Myanmar U23||4–2||5–2||2012 Olympics Qualifier|
|3.||19 June 2011||Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar||Qatar U23||1–0||1–3||2012 Olympics Qualifier|
|4.||23 June 2012||Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman||Lebanon U23||4–2||5–2||2013 AFC U-22 Asian Cup Qualifier|
|5.||23 June 2012||Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman||Lebanon U23||5–2||5–2||2013 AFC U-22 Asian Cup Qualifier|
|6.||30 June 2012||Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman||Turkmenistan U23||4–1||4–1||2013 AFC U-22 Asian Cup Qualifier|
|1||21 March 2011||Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Chinese Taipei||1–0||3–0||2012 AFC Challenge Cup|
|2||23 March 2011||Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Pakistan||1–1||3–1||2012 AFC Challenge Cup|
|4||25 March 2011||Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Turkmenistan||1–1||1–1||2012 AFC Challenge Cup|
|5||28 July 2011||Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi, India||United Arab Emirates||1–2||2–2||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6||16 November 2011||Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India||Malaysia||2–1||2–2||Friendly|
|7||7 December 2011||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, India||Sri Lanka||1–0||3–0||2011 SAFF Championship|
|8||11 December 2011||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, India||Afghanistan||3–0||4–0||2011 SAFF Championship|
|9||8 August 2015||Köpetdag Stadium, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan||Turkmenistan||1–1||1–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|10||31 December 2015||Trivandrum International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram, India||Maldives||2–0||3–2||2015 SAFF Championship|
|12||3 January 2016||Trivandrum International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram, India||Afghanistan||1–1||2–1 ( a.e.t. )||2015 SAFF Championship|
|13||2 June 2016||New Laos National Stadium, Vientiane, Laos||Laos||1–0||1–0||2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|14||7 June 2016||Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, India||Laos||1–1||6–1||2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|16||3 September 2016||Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai, India||Puerto Rico||3–1||4–1||Friendly|
|17||22 March 2017||Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia||Cambodia||2–1||3–2||Friendly|
|18||6 June 2017||Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai, India||Nepal||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|19||10 October 2017||Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore, India||Macau||4–1||4–1||2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|20||14 November 2017||Fatorda Stadium, Margao, India||Myanmar||2–2||2–2||2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|21||27 March 2018||Dolen Omurzakov Stadium, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan||Kyrgyzstan||1–2||1–2||2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|22||4 June 2018||Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai, India||Kenya||2–0||3–0||2018 Intercontinental Cup|
|23||6 January 2019||Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Thailand||2019 AFC Asian Cup|
|1||13 August 2016||Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu, Bhutan||Bhutan||0–2||0–3|
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