AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: Mumbai City FC were crowned champions of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. David Williams gave the Mariners the lead but an own goal in the first half by Tiri and a Bipin Singh winner in the final minute of regulation time meant that the Islanders won Hero ISL 2020-21.
After a cagey opening 10 minutes, the game suddenly came to life as Mumbai City FC were denied a penalty by the referee, while Javier Hernandez was whiskers away from netting a freekick for ATK Mohun Bagan moments later.
Hernandez had another pop at goal from inside the box shortly after but the Spaniard once again couldn’t keep his attempt on target. The Islanders had more of the ball, however, ATK Mohun Bagan looked dangerous whenever they were in and around Mumbai City FC’s box.
Their gameplan of pressing Mumbai City FC’s defenders high up the pitch as they looked to play out from the back paid off in the 18th minute. After Roy Krishna dispossessed Ahmed Jahouh near his own box by getting a touch on the ball to guide it to Williams, the Australian forward made no mistake and finished with aplomb from inside the box to give ATK Mohun Bagan the lead.
Mumbai City FC registered their first effort of the match on target in the 27th minute but it was a tame Adam le Fondre shot from just outside the box that was comfortably saved by the goalkeeper. However, the Islanders got their equaliser two minutes later after Tiri headed the ball into his own net from the edge of his box as the Spaniard looked to cut out a long ball forward by Jahouh.
The Islanders could have taken the lead on the half hour mark when Hugo Boumous got on the end of a low cross from the right and fired a powerful shot at goal. ATK Mohun Bagan custodian Arindam Bhattacharja though was in a good position on this occasion to make the save.
Bipin then had a chance to get on the end of a le Fondre cross from the right in the 36th minute but the Englishman’s ball was just beyond the in-form Indian winger. The last chance of the first half went ATK Mohun Bagan’s way in stoppage time when Krishna beat Mourtada Fall on the left and surged into the box before dragging his shot wide as the teams went into the break level pegging.
The first two opportunities of the second period were ATK Mohun Bagan attempts that failed to test the goalkeeper. Mumbai City FC though were more accurate with their attempts as Raynier Fernandes forced Arindam into a save with a shot from range in the 52nd minute. Arindam was called into action again four minutes later when he denied Hernan Santana from scoring a freekick.
Golden Glove Award 🧤 - Arindam Bhattacharya#ISL Emerging Player of the League 🌟 - Lalengmawia— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) March 13, 2021
Congratulations to the winners of the #HeroISL Season Awards 🏆🏆#LetsFootball #IndianFootball #HeroISLFinal pic.twitter.com/Z0Ivp04yxh
The Islanders had a huge chance of taking the lead in the 58th minute when Arindam saved le Fondre’s shot from inside the box but could only parry it as far as Boumous, who uncharacteristically blazed his follow-up attempt over the crossbar.
A Hernandez freekick was inadvertently deflected into his own goal by substitute Mohamad Rakip just after the hour mark. However, the goal wasn’t allowed to stand to the disappointment of the Mariners as the referee deemed Krishna – who was offside – to be interfering with play.
Hernandez had a couple more attempts as the match wore on and he tested Amrinder Singh with his second effort in the 72nd minute when the Spaniard’s powerful shot from distance was palmed onto the frame of the goal by the Indian shot-stopper.
The closing stages didn’t see either team create many chances but a lapse at the back in the final minute of injury time gave Mumbai City FC the win. ATK Mohun Bagan’s goalkeeper Arindam came out of his box to deal with a long ball but failed to do so, allowing substitute Bartholomew Ogbeche to win possession and carry it with him into the box before setting up Bipin for a simple finish that gave the Islanders their maiden Hero ISL trophy.
Hero of the Match – Bipin Singh
Bipin Singh capped off a fine campaign with Mumbai City FC by scoring the winning goal in the final. He was involved in a good battle with Manvir Singh out wide all game and kept his composure to score the all-important winner for the Islanders. With the match-winning strike, he took his goal tally for the season to six.
Other Match Awards:
Club Award: Mumbai City FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Bartholomew Ogbeche (Mumbai City FC)
Courtesy: ISL Media