ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City FC go to AFC Champions League, FC Goa qualify for play-offs

Mumbai City FC will play the AFC Champions League 2022.
Mumbai City FC will play the AFC Champions League 2022.
Sayak Dipta Dey

The regular season of the Indian Super League (ISL) came to a close with Mumbai City FC finishing top of the league table after a 2-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan FC on Sunday. The "Islanders" became the second Indian football club to qualify for the AFC Champions League, and will play in the continental competition in 2022.

Sergio Lobera's side started the game on a strong note. Unlike their previous few games in the league, Mumbai City FC looked settled in midfield in the absence of their key midfielder Hugo Boumous.

Mumbai City FC went 1-0 up in the seventh minute of the game with a headed goal from Mourtada Fall from an Ahmed Jahouh delivery. The lead was doubled in the 39th minute by Bartholomew Ogbeche who scored off a ricochet off the cross bar from an initial free-kick.

ATK Mohun Bagan FC piled men forward to restore parity, but the Islanders maintained their defensive shape. The likes of David Williams, Marcelinho and Roy Krishna seldom provided any space upfront to make attempts at goal.

Amey Ranawade, Pranjal Bhumij and Raynier Fernandes had a fantastic game to keep the ATK Mohun Bagan FC midfield in check.

Mumbai City FC are only the second club in Asia to confirm their berth in the Champions League 2022 after Qatar's Al-Sadd.

FC Goa qualify with a goalless draw with Hyderabad FC

FC Goa qualified for the semi-finals.
FC Goa qualified for the semi-finals.

FC Goa and Hyderabad FC played out a goalless draw earlier in the day. The draw meant FC Goa qualified for the ISL play-offs for the fourth time in a row, and sixth in total across all ISL seasons.

Juan Ferrando's FC Goa are on a 13-match unbeaten streak, which is also an ISL record. Manuel Roca's Hyderabad FC needed all three points against FC Goa but lacked key players in the squad and failed to make their maiden entry to the ISL play-offs.

Hyderabad FC were one of the most improved sides in the league when compared to the previous season. Their young crop of players including Ashish Rai, Akash Mishra, Liston Colaco, Mohammad Yasir and Hitesh Sharma impressed fans and media alike.

Manuel Roca's side missed the presence of Aridane Santana upfront against FC Goa as they missed several chances to take the lead.

FC Goa will face Mumbai City FC in Semi-Final 1 while ATK Mohun Bagan FC will lock horns with NorthEast United FC in Semi-Final 2.

Indian Super League 2020-21 Play-offs Fixtures

FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC - 05 March - Semi Final 1 - Leg 1

NorthEast United FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan FC - 06 March - Semi Final 2 - Leg 1

Mumbai City FC vs FC Goa - 08 March - Semi Final 1 - Leg 2

ATK Mohun Bagan FC vs NorthEast United FC - 09 March - Semi Final 2 - Leg 2

Winner of Semi Final 1 vs Winner of Semi Final 2 - 13 March - The Final

The two-legged semi-finals do not have the away goal rule. The winners of the ISL 2020-21 play-offs will stand a chance to play in the AFC Cup 2022 play-off stage.

Edited by Rohit Mishra


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