2016 proved to be a good year for Indian soccer as the national team benefited from Stephen Constantine's coaching acumen and Sunil Chhetri's leadership.
Indian national team climbed to its highest ranking in six years to round off 2016. Meanwhile Bengaluru FC reached the finals of the AFC Cup and were crowned the I league champion.
The Indians extended their hegemony in South Asian Football by winning the SAFF Cup for seventh time. India overcame a stiff challenge from Afghanistan in the finals to become champions in South Asia.
FC Bengaluru created history of sorts by becoming the first Indian side to reach the finals of the AFC Cup, a top tier club competition of the Asian countries.
Here are the top five soccer stories which hogged the limelight in the Indian soccer landscape
India beat Afghanistan 2-1 to lift SAFF Cup title for 7th time
India exacted sweet revenge of their last edition defeat as they beat defending champions Afghanistan 2-1 in the summit clash in a dominating display to lift the South Asian Football Federation Cup for the seventh time.
India, who had lost to Afghanistan 0-2 in the final of 2013 edition in Kathmandu, were clearly the better side in the final match between the two best teams of the regional tournament though they had to come back from one goal deficit and had to settle the match in the extra time.
National Football Championship : Arjun Tudu helps Services defeat Maharashtra to retain Santosh Trophy title
Riding on Arjun Tudu’s double strike, Services retained the Santosh Trophy National Football Championships title beating hosts Maharashtra 2-1 in the summit clash.
Atletico de Kolkata beat Kerala Blasters 4-3 in penalty shoot-out to lift Indian Super League 2016 trophy
In a thrilling title encounter, Atletico de Kolkata has outclassed arch- rivals Kerela Blasters on their home turf by defeating them in the penalty shoot-out 4-3 to be crowned as Indian Super League champions for the second time in three years.
Bengaluru FC crowned I-League champions
Bengaluru FC were today crowned as I-League football champions for the second time in three years as they blanked Salgaocar 2-0 in their penultimate league match of the season.
Eugenson Lyngdoh (8th minute) and Seminlen Doungel (87th) socred for Bengaluru as Ashley Westwood-coached side took full three points to clinch their second I- League title in front of their home crowd at the Kanteerava Stadium.
India register big win over higher-ranked Puerto Rico in football
It was a high point in Indian soccer as the Indian national team beat a higher ranked Puerto Rico side in an international Football friendly.
Since finishing 2015 on a disappointing 166th place in FIFA rankings, India end 2016 at 135th position, thus jumping 31 places in a year.