ISL: Top 5 Indian Super League Semi-Final Matches
The advent of the semi-finals for the current season is a perfect occasion to look back at the past playoff fixtures that took everyone's breath away.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is heading into the semi-final stage for the ongoing 2021-22 season. With the completion of the league stage, the tournament has entered into the knockout phase which involves the top-four teams from the league table. The playoffs are highly competitive with huge stakes on the line.
Gaining qualification into the semi-final fixtures, that are played over two legs, is a major achievement for any team in the ISL. For the current season, Jamshedpur FC, Hyderabad FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters FC will be contesting for the ISL trophy.
The advent of the semi-finals for the current season is a perfect occasion to look back at the past fixtures that took everyone's breath away. Shifting focus on the ISL semifinals, here are the top five matches that took place:
5. 2016: Delhi Dynamos FC 2 (0) - (3) 1 Kerala Blasters FC
The first-ever semi-final that was decided by a penalty shootout was back in the second season of the ISL. Post the first-leg ending 1-0 in Kerala Blasters FC's favor, the second was won by Delhi Dynamos FC by 2-1, putting the aggregate score at 2-2. Without the away goals rule, the match went into a shootout which saw the Yellow Army emerge as winners. Josu Currais, Kervens Belfort and Mohammad Rafique scored the three penalties for KBFC.
4. 2018-19: Mumbai City FC 1 - 5 FC Goa
FC Goa is the only team to score five goals in a single ISL semi-final fixture. The 2018-19 playoffs saw FC Goa decimate Mumbai City FC by a 5-1 scoreline in the first leg. Goals from Jackichand Singh, Mourtada Fall (2), Ferran Corominas and Brandon Fernandes gave the Gaurs a convincing win. They lost the second leg 1-0 but reached the final which they lost too at the hands of Bengaluru FC.
3. 2019-20: Chennaiyin FC 4 - 1 FC Goa
Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa played two very strong matches during their 2019-20 semi-final fixture. The first leg saw the Marina Machans run away with a 4-1 win, putting one foot in the final. Lucian Goian, Anirudh Thapa, Eli Sabia and Lallianzuala Chhangte were on target for CFC and showed their dominance.
2. 2020-21: Mumbai City FC 0 (6) - (5) 0 FC Goa
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa share a rivalry, unlike any other two teams. The Islanders, on their way to ISL trophy win during the 2020-21 win, met the Gaurs in the playoffs after signing several of their key players. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw and the second did not see any goals until the tie went into the penalties. An epic shootout commenced which saw MCFC coming away 6-5 winners and reaching the final, which they eventually won.
1. 2019-20: FC Goa 4 - 2 Chennaiyin FC
The second leg from the iconic 2019-20 semi-final between FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC was even better than the first leg. Since CFC defeated FCG by 4-1, they were favorites to secure a place in the final. However, the Gaurs turned the fortunes around in the second leg, almost. They won it by 4-2 but the aggregate score of 5-6 saw Chennaiyin FC march their way into the final against ATK, which they lost. Goian scored an own goal while Fall (2) and Edu Bedia scored for the Gaurs. On the other hand, two quickfire goals from Chhangte and Neirjus Valskis ensured CFC had their noses in front after the full-time whistle.