Margao (Goa), March 13 (IANS) Bipin Singh’s late winner and an own goal from Tiri helped Mumbai City beat ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 and win their maiden Indian Super League (ISL) title on Saturday at the Fatorda Stadium.
Sergio Lobera’s men have thus made it two trophies in two weeks, becoming just the second team to top the group stage and win the title. Bipin scored a 90th-minute winner after an own goal from Bagan centre back Tiri in the 29th minute helped Mumbai draw level. Bagan had earlier taken the lead through David Williams in the 18th minute.
Mumbai continued with their usual possession-based football. However, while they had over 60 per cent possession in the first quarter, Bagan had more shots on target.
There was an early penalty appeal when Bipin was challenged in the box by Pritam Kotal, but the referee took no interest.
Thereafter, it was all about Bagan. The Kolkata side pinned their opponents with a high pressing game which forced Mumbai into making errors. The first real threat for Mumbai came from a Javier Hernandez free-kick which brushed the crossbar. Roy Krishna then forced a save from Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh from a tight angle.
With pressure mounting on Mumbai’s defence, Bagan broke the deadlock first. Krishna dispossessed Ahmed Jahouh just outside the box and slipped a pass to Williams. The Australian got on to his stronger right foot and fired a firm shot past Amrinder.
But with Jahouh and his trademark long deliveries, it was always going to be difficult for Bagan. And with one such move, Mumbai found themselves back in the game. On seeing Bipin make a run upfront, Jahouh played a long ball from his own half into the Bagan box. Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja came rushing forward to collect but lack of communication with Tiri meant that the centre back was unaware of it. Tiri ended up heading the ball back and it looped over Bhattacharja and landed in his goal.
The end of the first half was marked by an injury to Amey Ranawade and that required the Mumbai City defender to be taken off the field in an ambulance. It led to a lengthy stoppage and both teams chose to play out the first half after the play was restarted for about 10 seconds.
Mumbai continued with attack after the restart and Raynier Fernandes forced yet another save from Bhattacharja after breaking into the area skipping past challenges from Kolkata defence. The Bagan goalkeeper then produced a fine save to deny Hernan Santana from a free-kick.
At the hour mark, Mumbai probably had the best chance of the game. Bhattacharja managed to block Le Fondre’s shot but the rebound travelled to Boumous, who failed to put the ball in the unguarded goal.
Bagan then seemed to score when Hernandez’s freekick was deflected off Mohamad Rakip into his own net, but the linesman caught Krishna, who was standing close to Rakip, offside.
It looked like the match may drift into extra time but Bhattacharja made a rare error which led to a passage of play that ended with Bipin scoring the winner. After Bhattacharja failed to deal with a long ball properly, Bartholomew Ogbeche chased it down. The ball found its way to Bipin who made no mistake with a first time shot at the far post.