From Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC to Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC: Longest winning streaks in Hero ISL
Jamshedpur FC won the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) League Winners’ Shield on Monday with a 1-0 victory over ATK Mohun Bagan at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa.
The silverware was just the start of the accolades Jamshedpur FC collected on the night. The win over the Mariners, which was their seventh on the spin in the Hero ISL this season, set a new record for the longest winning streak in Hero ISL history.
Owen Coyle’s men who have been in marauding form during the business end of the Hero ISL league season have registered ten wins in their last eleven matches which has not just helped them finish top of the pile but also helped them set a new record for most wins and most points in a single Hero ISL season.
However, Jamshedpur FC’s seven-match winning streak that can still extend further if they take their league form into the semi-finals and beyond is a remarkable feat considering how difficult it is to win successive matches in the Hero ISL that has become more competitive with every passing season.
On the backdrop of Jamshedpur FC’s record-breaking streak, here’s a look back at the best winning streaks in Hero ISL history.
Jamshedpur FC (2021-22): 7*
A league season is a marathon and hitting form at the crucial time is critical. Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC exhibited what peaking at the right time means as they won their final seven matches of the league phase to finish top of the pile in Hero ISL 2021-22 season. Facing question marks after a defeat to Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC bounced back with a 3-0 win against Kerala Blasters FC and never looked back. They beat all the fellow semi-finalists in this run making them firm favourites to win the Hero ISL trophy.
Bengaluru FC (2018-19): 6
If finishing the season strongly is vital, getting off to a flying start is equally important. Bengaluru FC showed that in the Hero ISL 2018-19 season when they went on an eleven-match unbeaten run to start their campaign. Crucially for the Blues, that unbeaten run had a winning streak of six matches that set them on the way to top the standings at the end of the season and eventually win the title, beating FC Goa in the final. Their winning run started with a 3-0 win over FC Pune City before NorthEast United FC brought it to an end following a 1-1 draw against the Blues.
ATK Mohun Bagan (2020-21): 5
The Mariners may have missed out on the League Winners’ Shield narrowly in both their Hero ISL seasons so far, but they have been the only team to have contested for till the very last matchday in both their campaigns. In their debut season in the Hero ISL, ATK Mohun Bagan got themselves on the brink of winning the Hero ISL League Winners’ Shield with a five-match winning run at the fag end of the season. The run that started with a 3-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC was ended by Hyderabad FC who held them to a 2-2 draw. Unfortunately, for ATK Mohun Bagan those two dropped points opened the door for Mumbai City FC who beat them in the final match of the season to claim the Shield in Hero ISL 2020-21.
Bengaluru FC (2017-18): 5
Much like Jamshedpur FC this season, Albert Roca’s Bengaluru FC ended the league stage campaign in 2017-18 strongly going eight matches unbeaten. That run had a five-match winning streak that not just sealed Bengaluru FC’s progress to the semi-finals but also secured them the top spot. Following a 2-0 defeat to Delhi Dynamos FC, Bengaluru FC responded by beating Mumbai City FC 3-1. They then went on to beat ATK, FC Goa, NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC as they ended the season with 40 points. The Blues amassed the highest points per game in a Hero ISL league season in 2017-18. They were beaten by Chennaiyin FC in the final and finished runners-up.
FC Goa (2019-20): 5
FC Goa were in scintillating form in the 2019-20 season and their quality was displayed during the five-match winning run that saw them claim pole position at the end of the league phase as they won the League Winners’ Shield. The remarkable aspect of this winning run was that it was overseen by two different head coaches. Sergio Lobera was in charge of the team for their wins over Kerala Blasters FC and Odisha FC before Clifford Miranda guided them to wins over Hyderabad FC, Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC after Lobera departed from his role.
FC Goa were however beaten in the semi-finals by Chennaiyin FC.
Chennaiyin FC (2015): 5
The best teams respond well to adversity and Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC who were beaten semi-finalists in the inaugural Hero ISL edition in 2014, were having a patchy run of form in the 2015 edition. After three straight defeats, their semi-final chances were in the balance until they hit form in the second half of the season. They turned the three defeats in a row into five straight wins as they qualified for the semi-finals after finishing third. The winning run started with a 4-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC and was ended by ATK who won 2-1 against Chennaiyin FC.
However, the winning streak gave them enough momentum going into the knockout stage as they beat ATK in the semi-finals before upstaging FC Goa in their own backyard to win their first Hero ISL title.