This season of the Indian Super League (ISL) has had a number of action-packed games that have seen both teams’ fortunes see-saw over the course of 90 minutes. A few sides have been able to turn around and fight back after a terrible first half while others have wilted under pressure after a fruitful first period. As a result, neutrals have been gifted with quite a few high-scoring games, some of which have seen teams mount brilliant comebacks. Here are the top five-
Hyderabad FC 2-2 Bengaluru FC (28 January, 2021)
Some might say that having this match at the top of this list is an example of recency bias. Be that as it may, Hyderabad FC’s stunning comeback against the Blues last night will be remembered by their fans for a very long time. What makes it even more special is that the Nizams were on the back foot for most of the game, but suddenly managed to find an extra gear in the last quarter of the game. As a result, Sunil Chhetri and Leon Augustine’s well-taken goals were neutralised by a terrific Aridane Santana and relentless Fran Sandaza. With this, Manuel Marquez’s side keep their top 4 hopes alive while Bengaluru’s wretched winless run continues further.
SC East Bengal 2-2 Chennaiyin FC (26 December, 2020)
Robbie Fowler’s boys might be at the foot of the table but their gameplay has improved quite visibly in the past few gameweeks. Matti Steinmann has been one of their most consistent performers in midfield and it was he who took the Chennaiyin defence to task with a brace. The Red and Golds managed to come back from behind twice and were close to nicking it at the end. However, Scott Neville’s last minute header was wide of the goal. Even so, this match increased their confidence in terms of trusting their passing game and after the arrival of Bright Enobakhare, this aspect has improved further.
FC Goa 2-2 Bengaluru FC (22 November, 2020)
It was both these teams’ first match of the season but despite their rustiness, it turned out to be one of the best matches of the season. Bengaluru started on the offensive and took an early lead through the dynamic Cleiton Silva. Juanan doubled the lead at the start of the second half and it seemed like Juan Ferrando would start his tenure with a loss. In stepped Brandon Fernandes from the bench, making an instant impact with two delicious through-balls that eventually led to a brace for Igor Angulo. It was a comeback that would earmark the Gaurs as a difficult opponent to face and that is exactly how things have panned out since.
Kerala Blasters 2-1 Bengaluru FC (20 January, 2021)
Bengaluru were once again at the wrong end of a comeback when they faced a resurgent Kerala Blasters earlier this month. Again, Cleiton Silva was their goalscorer early on in the first half but as has been the case for most of this season, the Blues’ were unable to hold on to their slender lead. Gary Hooper finally came into his own as his partnership with Jordan Murray kept the Bengaluru defence under pressure throughout. The first goal was scored by Lalthathanga Khawlhring but the man of the moment was 20-year-old Rahul KP who gave a tireless performance and was rewarded with an injury time winner.
Hyderabad FC 1-2 FC Goa (30 December, 2020)
The Gaurs pulled off another comeback against a resolute Hyderabad FC that held strong till the very end but had to eventually give in to the brilliance of Igor Angulo. Aridane Santana found the net for the Nizams in the 58th minute and it looked like that would be enough for them. However, a late surge from the FC Goa attack proved decisive as Ishan Pandita and Angulo both got on the scoresheet in the last five minutes. Edu Bedia and Alberto Noguera bagged the assists respectively as Hyderabad slumped to their third consecutive defeat.