The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24 season kept fans on the edge of their seat from minute one to last as the race for the League Shield went right down to the wire. The playoffs also threw up some tantalising moments as the league grew in stature.

The 227-day-long tenth edition was adorned with goals galore, fiery competition both on and off the field, intense rivalry, exhilarating actions, and enthralling moments. From Vikram Partap Singh’s emergence to Lallianzuala Chhangte’s consistency, Dimitrios Diamantakos’s offensive prowess to Dimitri Petratos’s all-round impact, Phurba Lachenpa’s agile saves to Subhasish Bose’s leadership quality, the ISL 2023–24 season has been quite a spectacle in every sense.

As we head into the off-season break, we've selected the top 10 matches from the just-ended ISL campaign.

FC Goa 3-2 Odisha FC (MW 3; October 7, 2023)

Sergio Lobera’s Odisha FC suffered their first defeat in the ISL 2023–24 season against FC Goa, where the Gaurs took all three points courtesy of Jay Gupta’s injury-time winner. This match saw a regress of familiar faces in Goa where Sergio Lobera, Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh, and others faced their former club, FC Goa, this time with the Kalinga Warriors.

Fall and Noah Sadaoui both scored a brace, but it wasn’t enough to separate the two sides. Finally, FC Goa’s promising young side-back, Gupta, won the match for the hosts with his robust left-footed strike in the 96th minute.

NorthEast United FC 2-1 Jamshedpur FC (MW 5; October 26, 2023)

NorthEast United FC staged a dramatic comeback against Jamshedpur FC on their home ground despite trailing throughout the 90 minutes. A 94th-minute Michel Zabaco equalizer, followed by a 99th-minute Ibson Melo winner, sealed the victory for the Highlanders.

NorthEast United FC’s goalkeeper Mirshad Michu’s foul on Alen Stevanovic awarded a penalty to Scott Cooper’s men in the 19th minute of the game. Despite missing his initial attempt, Nigerian forward Daniel Chima Chukwu converted the rebound shot, giving the Red Miners a first-half lead.

Juan Pedro Benali’s men generated numerous offensive moves throughout the second half but couldn’t break the stubborn Jamshedpur FC defense line as Rehenesh T.P. stood strong under the bars. Finally, the Highlanders’ persistence paid off when Zabaco leveled the scoreline, flaring up the home crowd. Later on, Melo took NorthEast United FC upfront with his well-taken spot-kick.

Mohun Bagan SG 2-2 East Bengal FC (MW 13; February 3, 2024)

It was the first Kolkata Derby of the ISL 2023–24 season, which saw an indefatigable fight between two of Kolkata’s oldest clubs for bragging rights. East Bengal FC took the lead twice in the game, but Habas’s Mohun Bagan SG made their way back not once but twice to end the match on level terms.

Ajay Chhetri, who was in Carles Cuadrat’s starting lineup in place of suspended Souvik Chakrabarty, had utilized his opportunity as he scored the opener from Nishu Kumar’s precise center, giving his side a crucial early lead in the high-octane clash. For Mohun Bagan SG, Armando Sadiku brought his team back into the game with his right-footed flicked shot, which left Prabhsukan Singh Gill clueless in front of the goal.

The Red and Gold Brigade again took the lead with Cleiton Silva’s ice-in-the-veins Panenka just a few minutes before the hour mark. However, the Mariners demonstrated their never-say-die attitude as they were desperate in search of the equalizer, which came in the 87th minute from Mohun Bagan SG’s big-game player Dimitri Petratos.

Mumbai City FC 2-3 Jamshedpur FC (MW 13; February 4, 2024)

Mumbai City FC took a sustainable 2-0 lead inside the opening half against Jamshedpur FC, but Khalid Jamil’s men displayed their resurgence in the later half, scoring a hat-trick of goals to secure all three points in a highly intense fixture.

Petr Kratky’s Islanders broke the deadlock with Tiri, who headed into Yoell van Nieff’s looping corner, while they doubled their lead with Alberto Noguera’s headed flick from Lallianzuala Chhangte’s pin-point cross.

For the Men of Steel, Imran Khan pulled one goal back in the initial phase of the second half with his powerful left-footed strike, which found the back of the net, beating Phurba Lachenpa in the near post. Later on, Jeremy Manzorro scored a brace to complete the turnaround, which saw Jamshedpur FC register the first win under Jamil in the ISL 2023–24 season.

Kerala Blasters FC 1-3 Punjab FC (MW 15; February 12, 2024)

Punjab FC had done the unlikely as they silenced the ever-roaring Kerala Blasters FC’s supporters in Kochi following their 3-1 victory against Ivan Vukomanovic’s team. The Yellow Army opened the scoresheet with Milos Drincic’s strike from Daisuke Sakai’s corner kick. However, they didn’t maintain their lead before going down in the second half as the Shers found the equalizer with Wilmar Jordan Gil’s 42nd-minute goal.

Absorbing the initial pressure, Staikos Vergetis’s men exhibited their offensive potential in the final half as their foreign attacking trio of Gil, Madih Talal, and Luka Majcen shone brightly, resulting in their comeback win at the Blasters’ den. Gil struck again around the hour mark, converting Talal’s adroit assist, while Majcen nailed the victory with his composed spot-kick in the dying minutes of the second half.

Kerala Blasters FC 4-2 FC Goa (MW 16; February 25, 2024)

Kerala Blasters FC dethroned FC Goa in an edge-of-the-seat thrilling fixture where the Blasters miraculously stunned Manolo Marquez’s team with a second-half sorcery. Despite being dominated in the first half with a 0-2 down scoreline, Vukomanovic’s Yellow Army stepped up in the second half and registered a comeback victory, putting four past the Gaurs.

Rowllin Borges and Mohammad Yasir handed FC Goa an edge in this game with a two-goal lead within the first 17 minutes. Early in the second half, Daisuke Sakai scored a fantastic free-kick goal, which initiated the Blasters’ remarkable bounce back. Later on, captain Diamantakos scored a brace, and Fedor Cernych netted his first ISL goal to seize the remarkable triumph in front of their increasingly fervent home crowd.

Kerala Blasters FC 3-4 Mohun Bagan SG (MW 19; March 13, 2024)

A topsy-turvy thriller in Kerala witnessed Mohun Bagan SG edge past Kerala Blasters FC by the finest margin in a seven-goal thriller. The Mariners took the upper hand from the offset, enjoying a lead during most of the game, and emerged victorious, although the Blasters fought hard till the very end.

Sadiku fired a brace, scoring a goal in each half, while Deepak Tangri and Jason Cummings were on target, which was enough to dumb the ever-fueling Yellow Army. Vibin Mohanan exploded the sweetest right-footed goal in the early minutes of the second half, and Diamantakos hit the net twice, but the hosts fell short of completing the bounce-back as Kerala Blasters FC finished the game with one goal deficit.

Mohun Bagan SG 2-3 Chennaiyin FC (MW 20; March 31, 2024)

Since Antonio Habas took charge as the head coach for Mohun Bagan SG, it was the first time the Mariners ended up losing a game. Despite trailing by Joni Kauko’s goal, Owen Coyle’s Chennaiyin FC showcased their indomitable fighting spirit as they exhibited a commendable second-half bounce back to turn the tides in their favor.

Trailing by a goal, the Marina Machans were determined to bring them back into the game as they seamlessly displayed their offensive potential from the beginning of the second half. Jordan Murray, Ryan Edwards, and Irfan Edward’s heroic winner saw Chennaiyin FC reach a new height as Petratos’s 94th-minute equalizer went in vain.

Kerala Blasters FC 2-4 East Bengal FC (MW 20; April 3, 2024)

It was a bizarrely open match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kerala, where both teams had numerous chances to turn the game into a goal-scoring spectacle. Each brace from Saul Crespo and Naorem Mahesh Singh helped East Bengal FC see off nine-man Kerala Blasters FC in the seesaw fixture.

For the hosts, Cernych broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute of the game against the run of play, but Saul Crespo's spot kick lessened the single-goal cushion in the dying moments of the first half. The Red and Gold Brigade, who had performed according to their familiar territory in this away fixture, generated relentless offensive moves in the match, taking a total of 25 shots throughout the game.

East Bengal FC took the lead in the 71st minute when Aman CK plated a beautiful pass for Crespo in a favorable position, who made no mistake hitting the back of the net. Though Kerala Blasters FC pulled one goal back with Hijazi Maher’s own goal, Mahesh’s two successive goals propelled the Red and Gold Brigade to clinch their biggest away victory.

FC Goa 2-3 Mumbai City FC (SF1 1st leg; April 24, 2024)

The opening leg of the first semi-final between FC Goa and Mumbai City is arguably one of the best games played in the history of ISL playoffs to date, which has surely given an adrenaline rush to its spectators. Petr Kratky’s men dismantled the Gaurs in the semi-final with their unmatchable trademark style of play, recording an illustrative comeback for the ages.

A final-minute sorcery from Chhangte cast the spell of the epic turnaround in Goa. Going forward, two scarcely believable goals in extra time from Vikram Partap Singh and Chhangte inevitably did wonders for the Islanders, which should remain simply the biggest agony for the Gaurs in the history of their ISL playoffs.

Manolo Marquez’s team was in pole position during the game courtesy of Boris Singh and Brandon Fernandes’s goals, which put them ahead until the 89th minute. However, Mumbai City FC oozed menace on the counter in the final minutes, and it was impossible to ignore the presence of Chhangte and Vikram and the threat of Jayesh Rane and Gurkirat Singh, who were all involved in this historic fightback.