ISL 2021 Final: Bipin Singh winner crowns Mumbai City's night, ATK Mohun Bagan falls short

ISL Final 2021: Bipin Singh’s 90th minute winner gave Sergio Lobera his first ISL title as head coach and added the trophy to the league winners shield to complete a grand double.

Skipper Amrinder Singh lifts the ISL trophy for Mumbai City.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Mumbai City FC claimed its maiden Indian Super League (ISL) title with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday. Bipin Singh’s 90th minute winner gave Sergio Lobera his first ISL title as head coach and added the trophy to the league winners shield to complete a grand double.

Just when it seemed like the match would slip into extra-time, Mumbai’s uncharacteristic but effective long ball-tactic did the trick for the second time during the match. Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri, under pressure from Bartholomew Ogbeche, decided to leave the ball for custodian Arindam Bhattacharja. But the goalie, already outside the box, could only chest it. Ogbeche stole the ball, left two ATKMB defenders on the floor and passed it to Bipin to do the rest.


For ATKMB boss Antonio Habas, it was a first defeat in three finals and he would be gutted with the result especially after the way ATKMB started the match. His wards came out pressing with great energy and Mumbai, unable to manoeuvre through the middle of the pitch, was content launching hopeful long balls for Adam le Fondre and Bipin to latch on to.

Bipin Singh celebrates scoring the winner for Mumbai City. - ISL/Sportzpics


Mumbai nearly drew first blood, but Bipin was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty when Pritam Kotal’s outstretched arm appeared to bring him down. But for that, it was all ATKMB.

Javi Hernandez’s free-kick crashed off the crossbar before Habas’ side deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute. Roy Krishna robbed Ahmed Jahouh off the ball and it neatly fell to David Williams who drove it straight through custodian Amrinder Singh.

But on the half-hour mark, the game turned when ATKMB defender Tiri’s attempt to clear a long ball from Jahouh, while running backwards, ended up in his own net, beating Arindam.

READ | ISL 2021: Igor Angulo wins Golden Boot

Given a lifeline, Mumbai stepped it up, forcing Arindam into an excellent reaction save to deny Hugo Boumous. Bipin too came close, but failed to connect to a near-post header off an excellent cross from le Fondre on the right.

The half ended on a sombre note when Amey Ranawade had to leave the pitch in an ambulance. After a bad collision with ATKMB’s Subhasish Bose, the Mumbai defender fell head first, leaving both sets of players and coaching staff teary eyed and a worried lot.

On 58 minutes, Boumous missed a golden chance to put his side ahead, sending the ball soaring over from six yards out with both the goal and goalie at his mercy. Hernandez came close for ATKMB but his long-range shot was tipped onto the crossbar and Amrinder was lucky to see it go out.

Amrinder and co. ultimately had the last laugh, even as the evening ended in disappointment for Krishna, who finished second in the race for the Golden Boot for the second successive year, behind FC Goa’s Igor Angulo despite scoring an equal number of goals (14).

The Fijian, who lost out last year by virtue of having fewer assists, had an inferior goals-scored to minutes-played ratio this time around. The Golden Ball may bring him some solace, but the title loss will surely sting. Arindam, chosen for the Golden Glove, will concur. 

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