We’re well into the final week of the group stages in this season’s Indian Super League (ISL) and all signs point towards a grand Sunday showdown to decide the top 4. That is when FC Goa take on Hyderabad FC before the top of the table clash between ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City. Whatever happens henceforth, one couldn’t have asked for a better finish to what has been an exciting three months as the focus shifts towards the playoffs.
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It all begins tonight when NorthEast United square off against Kerala Blasters for their final match of the group stages. The Highlanders have 30 points from 19 games, equal with Goa, and a further point in this game will ensure their passage to the top 4. That will essentially make the match between the Gaurs and the Nizams a potential quarterfinal. If that game is drawn, NorthEast and Goa go through. For Manolo Marquez’s side to progress further, they will have to win the game at any cost making this a mouthwatering prospect for neutrals. The equation doesn’t change much if Khalid Jamil does taste his first defeat this season. Even in that case, Hyderabad, who have 28 points from 19 matches, will have to win.
At the top, ATK Mohun Bagan currently have a three-point lead over second-placed Mumbai City. Mumbai require an outright win to go through, any other result will see them miss out on the top spot and subsequently, AFC Champions League qualification by a whisker. However, they will be confident of another good showing after their immensely impressive 6-1 victory against Odisha FC in the last game. With both sides currently having the same goal difference of +15, the margin of their win over Odisha might actually be the deciding factor in propelling them to the top spot if they can indeed topple an in-form ATK Mohun Bagan side. Hugo Boumous’ absence, however, will be a big miss for Sergio Lobera’s men.
All in all, lots to look forward to on Super Sunday.