Mumbai City beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 to win the ISL trophy
The first ten minutes of the match were marred by poor refereeing decisions with the season’s long-running tradition continuing on the big stage as well.
In the 10th minute, Pritam Kotal fouled Bipin Singh trying to get on the end of a backheel pass from Adam le Fondre and ATK Mohun Bagan ended up winning a free-kick on the other end of the pitch after a quick counterattack. Javi Hernandez scored 2 goals in the last edition’s final and came close to open the scoring in the ISL 2020-21 final as his free-kick clipped the post on its way out.
The Islanders trying to play out from the back were caught out in the 18th minute as a well-timed tackle from Roy Krishna on Ahmed Jahouh put the ball on the plate for Wiliams and the Australian thunderous effort hit the back of the net opening the scoring on the night.
In the 29th minute, Mumbai equalized in the intense final as a 55-yard pass from Jahouh was headed back into the back of his own net by Tiri as Arindam Bhattacharja was stuck in no man’s land and was unable to get a hand on the ball passing by him straight over the goal line.
Arindam redeemed himself with a couple of great saves in the following minutes nullifying brilliant efforts from Bipin Singh and le Fondre in front of the goal.
At the stroke of half-time, an unfortunate collision of heads between Amey Ranawade and Krishna forced the former to go to the hospital in an ambulance as the players waited on the pitch to witness the whole situation. With Mandar Rao Dessai suspended for the finale, Mohammed Rakip came on for Ranawade at the start of the second half. The full-back is now stable according to a medical report but will be kept under observation for a couple of days.
Arindam was certainly the busier goalkeeper after the start of the second half as the Mariners goalkeeper had to keep out an effort from Raynier Fernandes and also saved a Hernan Santana free-kick as well following a yellow card shown to Kotal for a foul on the edge of the area. A minute later, a tame effort from le Fondre was spilled by the 31-year old goalkeeper straight to Hugo Boumous and the French playmaker skied his effort from barely 8 yards out.
In the 62nd minute, Rakip put the ball in the back of his own net from a Mariners free-kick but the goal was disallowed as Krishna, standing in an offside position was deemed to be in the goalkeeper’s eye line.
In the 72nd minute, a shot from Javi Hernandez was pushed onto the crossbar by Amrinder Singh as the goalkeeper put a very soft hand on the ball instead of pushing it away strongly.
Another howler from Arindam gifted the ISL trophy to the Islanders as another long ball troubled the whole Mariners defense with the goalkeeper out of his area trying to clear the ball away. Substitute Bartholomew Ogbeche took the ball under control, beat one defender, rounded off the goalkeeper, and laid the ball off for Bipin Singh who finished past a helpless Sandesh Jhingan trying to make a heroic goal-line clearance.
Bipin Singh was a livewire throughout the match and deservedly scored the winner in the final with Ogbeche unselfishly laying the ball off in a crucial moment of the match. The Indian winger was the only player throughout the season to score a hattrick as the 26-year old put 3 goals past Arshdeep Singh in a match against Odisha.