From five-goal thrillers to nail-biting shootouts: A look back at all Hero ISL finals
Every year top clubs of India fight for the ultimate prize, the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) trophy. After the grinding league stages, teams fight out to claim the bragging rights for every single season in the final. From teams winning their first-ever Hero ISL trophy to clubs pushing hard to reclaim the silverware, Hero ISL finals have always provided the fans with plenty of entertainment.
From high-scoring affairs to penalty shootouts, the Hero ISL final stage has seen many remarkable contests over the years. As the final of the current Hero ISL season approaches with ATK Mohun Bagan taking on Bengaluru FC for the coveted trophy in Goa, we're going to take a look at all the Hero ISL finals of the past seasons.
Hero ISL 2014 Final: Kerala Blasters FC 0-1 ATK FC
The first edition of the Hero ISL saw Indian football reaching new heights.
ATK FC took on Kerala Blasters FC in the summit clash, with the two teams putting in impeccable performances on their way to the final.
Both teams started the match with half chances at regular intervals but Kerala Blasters FC keeper David James and ATK FC's Apoula Edel stood strong to keep the score at 0-0. The match looked to be heading for extra time until the 90th minute when Mohammad Rafique headed past James to score the winner and win the Hero ISL for the Kolkata side. ATK FC became the first-ever Hero ISL champions.
Hero ISL 2015 Final: FC Goa 2-3 Chennaiyin FC
The Hero ISL 2015 final saw first-ever finalists FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC fight for the trophy. The Gaurs had the upper hand in the fixture with the final being played at their home stadium in front of a passionate crowd.
After a goalless first half with scoring opportunities to Rafael Coelho and Stiven Mendoza of the Marina Machans, the second half saw five goals, bringing the fans to the edge of their seats. With a quick start in the second half, the visitors took the lead with the opening goal by Bruno Augusto in the 54th minute which FC Goa cancelled out shortly after four minutes when Thongkhosiem Haokip scored to bring the game on level terms. After two quick goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, the game was played at a high pace but both teams struggled to score the winner.
The match went into a frenzy after Joffre Gonzalez scored in the 87th minute to put the hosts in front but the final was turned on its head with an own goal by goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani which brought the Marina Machans back into the game before Mendoza scored the winner in the added time to win the Hero ISL trophy for Chennaiyin FC. The final produced intense drama and action till the last whistle and it was decided in the most dramatic fashion, much to the happiness of travelling Chennaiyin FC fans, as the away team celebrated their heroic victory.
Hero ISL 2016 Final: Kerala Blasters FC 1-1 ATK (3-4 after penalties)
In the replay of the 2014 final, the Yellow Army were on the lookout to claim revenge for the loss in the previous final. Kerala Blasters FC were playing in Kochi, hoping to win their first-ever Hero ISL trophy, meanwhile, ATK FC were determined to grab their second trophy in three years.
After a cagey start to the match, the Blasters' perseverance bore fruit with Mohammed Rafi blasting his header past ATK FC keeper Debjit Majumder. Henrique Sereno scored the equaliser for ATK FC at the cusp of half-time to get the scores level. After a goalless second half and extra-time, the game went into penalties.
The shootout drama saw an early lead for Kerala Blasters FC with ATK FC's Iain Hume seeing his penalty saved by Graham Stack. Debjit Majumder made the crucial save of Cedric Hengbart after Blasters' Didier Kadia had missed to put ATK FC on the brink of victory. Jewel Raja then stepped up and made no mistake in slotting home the winner, as ATK FC were crowned champions of Hero ISL. A second straight defeat in the final for the Blasters meant that ATK FC secured the second Hero ISL trophy in three years.
Hero ISL 2017-18 Final: Bengaluru FC 2-3 Chennaiyin FC
Bengaluru FC made their first step into the Hero ISL during the 2017-18 season and the Blues displayed a fine brand of football which saw the team reach the Hero ISL final in their first season. Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC were appearing for their second final in three years, with hopes of becoming only the second team to win the prized trophy two times after ATK FC.
An intense first half saw the home team take the lead in the ninth minute with Bengaluru FC's talisman Sunil Chhetri opening the scoring. The Marina Machans made a strong comeback in the match with Mailson Alves scoring two goals before half-time to give the visitors the lead. The second half saw the Blues push for an equaliser, but it was Chennaiyin FC who firmed their grip on the final with the third goal on the night scored by the Brazilian Raphael Augusto in the 67th minute.
Miku scored in the 90th minute as the Blues pushed on for a late comeback in the final, but it was Chennaiyin FC's night to lift the trophy after a 3-2 win against Bengaluru FC. The Marina Machans celebrated their heroic victory in front of travelling fans as they celebrated the team's second Hero ISL trophy in three years.
Hero ISL 2018-19 Final: Bengaluru FC 1-0 FC Goa
The 2018-19 season saw Bengaluru FC on a mission to better last season's close miss for the Hero ISL title. They were met by a resilient FC Goa in the final, who were on a run of strong victories, competing for their first-ever Hero ISL trophy after losing the 2015 final against Chennaiyin FC.
The final pit two teams with the best attacks in the league going against each other. Miku got close to opening the scoring for the Blues but Naveen Kumar did well to keep FC Goa's clean sheet intact. The second half saw both teams working hard to score a goal, but it was not possible with both defences coming strong in clutch moments. The match went into extra-time with both teams failing to find the winner.
FC Goa were dealt with a blow in the 105th minute as Ahmed Jahouh was sent off after an altercation with Miku which saw the striker receiving his second yellow card and the marching orders. Bengaluru FC piled on the pressure in search of the winner with the Gaurs going down to 10 men, and just when the match looked to be headed for penalties, Rahul Bheke rose high and headed Dimas Delgado's corner to ensure a thrilling finish to the final. Bengaluru FC won the final in the most dramatic way to secure their first-ever triumph in the Hero ISL.
Hero ISL 2019-20 Final: ATK FC 3-1 Chennaiyin FC
The old foes met again as the two-time winners of the Hero ISL clashed once again to gain supremacy. Chennaiyin FC won the title two years ago, while the Kolkata giants last won the trophy in 2016.
The final started with ATK FC taking an early lead in the 10th minute after Javi Hernandez volleyed past Chennaiyin FC custodian Vishal Kaith. Antonio Habas' team kept the pressure on as they went into the break with a 1-0 lead. After finishing the first half on a strong note, ATK FC asserted their claim on the trophy with the second goal of the night in the 48th minute when Edu Garcia scored with the assist from David Williams.
Chennaiyin FC pushed on to make a comeback in the match and their efforts paid off in the 69th minute with Nerijus Valskis rifled past Arindam Bhattacharja in ATK FC goal. Javi Hernandez scored his second goal of the night in the 90th minute of the final to seal the victory for ATK FC. The team from Kolkata won the coveted trophy for the third time and became the most successful team in the league's history.
Hero ISL 2020-21 Final: Mumbai City FC 2-1 ATK Mohun Bagan
The 2020-21 final saw ATK Mohun Bagan stand in the way of League Shield winners Mumbai City FC. Both teams reached the final on the back of strong performances and the final brought the best out of both outfits. Mumbai City FC started the match with a string of attacks but it was the Mariners who got the lead in the 18th minute when David Williams pounced on a loose ball and slotted past Amrinder Singh. However, the lead didn't last very long as a long ball from Ahmed Jahouh was turned into his own goal by ATK Mohun Bagan's defender Tiri, bringing the match back to parity.
The first half ended 1-1 with both teams having an equal share of possession. The second half saw multiple close chances, but both finalists failed to convert the opportunities. When the match looked to be headed for extra time, it was Bipin Singh who capitalised on a chance and slotted past ATKMB keeper Arindam Bhattacharja, scoring the winner right at the end. Mumbai City FC won their first-ever Hero ISL title while becoming the first side to win the double.
Hero ISL 2021-22 Final: Hyderabad FC 1-1 Kerala Blasters FC (3-1 after penalties)
Last season saw Hyderabad FC make it into the finals for the first time in their history. Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC played their third Hero ISL final, with an aim to win the trophy for the first time after losing in the previous two finals in 2014 and 2016.
The season was played behind closed doors due to the Covid pandemic. The Blasters started the match on the front foot as they came close to breaking the deadlock, but it didn't materialise into a goal. Hyderabad FC stood strong with half-chances going begging for the first-time finalists. The second half saw both teams going for the kill and it was Rahul KP who broke the deadlock with a brilliant individual effort in the 68th minute. The game looked to be heading into Kerala Blasters FC's favour, only for Sahil Tavora of Hyderabad FC to produce a goal-of-the-year candidate. After the Blasters cleared the corner in the 88th minute, it was Tavora who volleyed past Prabhsukhan Gill to send the match into the extra time.
For the third time in Hero ISL history, the final went into the extra time. Hyderabad FC came close to snatching the victory out of the Yellow Army's hands after Bartholomew Ogbeche saw his shot cleared off the line by Marko Leskovic. The match went into the penalties. Hyderabad FC keeper Kattimani turned out the hero of the night with three saves in the penalty shootout to give Halicharan Narzary a chance to win the title for Manolo Marquez's side. Hyderabad FC won 3-1 on penalties and secured their first-ever Hero ISL trophy as the celebrations broke out.