A chaotic last day of the league-stage saw Mumbai City usurp ATK Mohun Bagan to top the Indian Super League (ISL) table. It earned the ‘Islanders’ the coveted AFC Champions League spot.
Earlier that same day, a goalless draw between Hyderabad FC and FC Goa – in which both teams were reduced to 10 men – meant that the latter secured the final playoff spot.
FC Goa will take on league-stage winners Mumbai FC in the semi-final, while Kolkata-side will play third placed NorthEast United.
Quick turnaround for City Football Group
A single transfer window completely changed the fortunes of Mumbai City, who before this season had made just a few playoff appearances without much effect. When the City Football Group took over the Mumbai-franchise, they hired the services of former FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera to take command of the squad. Lobera brought with him the core players that helped the Goan team qualify for the AFC Champions League last year – along with gifted strikers Adam Le Fondre and Bartholomew Ogbeche.
Mumbai City topped the table for most of the duration of the group stage, but was briefly replaced at the top by ATK Mohun Bagan. As both clubs tussled for the Champions League spot, it came down to their last match of the season which incidentally was against each other. Mumbai City, the team to beat through most of the season, won that contest 2-0.