Dominant and decisive on the night, Mumbai City FC produced a superb display of football in the ISL Final as they defeated Mohun Bagan 3-1 on Saturday, at the VBYK in Kolkata. This is the second time Mumbai City FC have won the ISL Cup. The Islanders had to dig deep, and came back from a goal down with the likes of Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh and Jakub Vojtus making telling contributions in well-contested final, in what was quite a hostile atmosphere. 

It was an anxious start with both sides looking to run off some of the nerves of the big stage. Neither were able to settle into their rhythm in the early exchanges and were over-hitting passes more often than they’d like. Anirudh Thapa and Lallianzuala Chhangte took their chances at carving open the opposition defences, but no one was giving an inch in what was fast-paced start.

20 minutes in, neither Mumbai City FC nor Mohun Bagan had been able to create a clear-cut chance on goal. It was fast and feisty, but both teams had a bit to do in the final third. Mumbai though had started the game on the front-foot and were pushing forward.

In the first half-hour, Apuia had dropped anchor in the middle of the park for the Islanders, while Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Vikram Partap Singh and Alberto Noguera were looking to make inroads into the Bagan area. Chhangte hitting the cross bar with a free-kick from the left was the closest anyone had come to breaking the deadlock.

On the 38th minute, Vikram’s change of pace got him plenty of space to run at, and his pass in towards the penalty spot was met by Chhangte, who had his shot saved, before it hit the post, again. Mumbai were on the ascendency, but moments later Liston forced Phurba Lachenpa into a save too.

A little later, Bagan flicked a switch and Dimi Petratos rifled it in towards goal from 30 yards out, Lachenpa saved the shot but pushed it straight into Jason Cummings’ path, who scored. Bagan broke the deadlock and led 1-0, even as Mumbai dominated the first half.

Right after the break, Mumbai bounced back in the 52nd minute when Noguera’s inch perfect pass over the top found Diaz, who poked it past Vishal Kaith and reeled off in celebration. The home fans were stunned and the Islanders were celebrating with the score at 1-1. A few minutes later, just on the hour mark, Chhangte drove in from the left and found Jayesh Rane, who poked it goal wards, only for Anwar Ali to get in the way. Rahul Bheke fired wide from the resulting corner. Bagan had been pegged back by the Islanders, who were fired up.

Once the final twenty minutes commenced, the heat factor was starting to play its part for both teams, which resulted in a few scrappy moves just before the drinks break. Soon after, on the 80th minute, Mumbai edged ahead with a moment of resilience. Vikram cut it back from the right for Chhangte, who had his shot blocked after which it pinged away Jakub Vojtus, before it dropped to Bipin Singh, and the substitute bundled it home, much to the joy of his teammates. Mumbai City FC led 2-1 with less than ten minutes to go in regulation time. Would Bipin be the thorn in Bagan’s side yet again?

From then on in, Bagan threw the kitchen sink at the Islanders, but just before the end of the night, Vojtus found himself in the right place at the right time, and put the seal on the game with his first goal for Mumbai, who walked away 3-1 winners of the ISL Final.