Champions Mumbai City FC’s top five performers from Hero ISL 2020-21
Mumbai City FC enjoyed an excellent Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) campaign after winning the League Winners Shield and then becoming the champions following a win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the final. The Islanders, in fact, were the team to beat for majority of the season as most of their players stepped up and performed admirably. The league’s leading scorers with 39 goals that came from all areas of the pitch, what set Mumbai City FC apart from the rest of the competition was their ability not to rely on any single individual. While the likes of Cy Goddard, Hernan Santana, Rowllin Borges, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Amey Ranawade all shone for the Islanders, here’s a look at the five players who had the biggest impact on Mumbai City FC’s Hero ISL 2020-21 campaign.
A towering presence at the back for the Islanders, Mourtada Fall played a huge role in making Mumbai City FC’s backline the meanest after ATK Mohun Bagan’s during the league stage. Fall’s ability to dominate opposition attackers and thwart danger made him crucial for Sergio Lobera’s men in defence. A rock at the back, Fall made 50 tackles, 30 interceptions, 34 blocks and 133 clearances over the course of the campaign. A huge goal threat as well, especially from set-plays, Fall netted four times for his team – including some crucial goals – and is the highest-scoring defender in league history.
Hugo Boumous may not have featured in all of Mumbai City FC’s matches as he nursed an injury and later served a suspension in Hero ISL 2020-21 but the talented playmaker shone whenever on the pitch. Even though he featured in just 16 matches for Islanders, Boumous notched up seven assists and three goals. His ability to create chances and run with the ball was second to none in the league, and a sign of danger for opposition defences. No Mumbai City FC player provided more assists than the dangerous Boumous as his presence on the ball seemed to draw defenders to him and open up space for his teammates.
There can be no denying the fact that Bipin Singh was the standout Indian performer from Mumbai City FC’s squad. The only hat-trick scorer in Hero ISL 2020-21, Bipin also netted the all-important winner in the final against ATK Mohun Bagan and was a constant threat throughout the season to the opposition. Whether it was scoring goals and providing assists, Bipin did it both as he enjoyed a coming-of-age campaign in Mumbai City FC’s blue. The 26-year-old winger finished the season with six goals and four assists to his name.
Bartholomew Ogbeche may not have enjoyed the best of campaigns as far as minutes played on the pitch are concerned. Unlike his first two Hero ISL seasons with NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC respectively, Ogbeche didn’t always start for Mumbai City FC. However, in terms of success, Ogbeche will know that nothing comes close to what he achieved with the Islanders as Lobera’s men clinched the League Winners Shield and the Hero ISL trophy. Ogbeche played a key role in their successes with eight goals and three assists. Three of his goals came at a pivotal juncture during Mumbai City FC’s last two league-stage games and his last assist set up Bipin to score the winning goal in the final.
Adam le Fondre
A versatile forward that was happy slotting into any position across the frontline, Adam le Fondre finished his first Hero ISL campaign as the leading scorer for Mumbai City FC with 11 goals. The Englishman’s work ethic and quality in the final third made him difficult for opposition defences to deal with. His versatility allowed Lobera to experiment with different formations and his quality on the ball meant that opposition defences couldn’t give him much time on the ball. Even when he wasn’t on the scoresheet, le Fondre always tried to be in the thick of the action and also provided one assist in Hero ISL 2020-21.