There have been very few teams that have been threatening and efficient when it comes to scoring goals from counter attacks in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) this season.

Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, who will clash in the Hero ISL final on Saturday, are two teams among the top six who have scored the least amount of goals during the league phase. The Blues have netted 27 goals while ATKMB have scored three less, 24.

But when it comes to quick transitions from defence to attack and catching the opposition off guard, these two sides have been hard to deal with. And that could be one of the main reasons why they find themselves in the position they are in. 

BFC and ATKMB are among the four teams this season who have netted more than 10 goals from counter-attacking situations. Chennaiyin FC top the list, having scored 15 of their 36 goals from such situations. Placed second and third are ATKMB and BFC, who have scored 13 and 11 goals from counter attacks respectively.

While the Mariners have had the least tally of goals among teams in the top, half of their goals this season have come from counter attacks. They are the only team this season with a goalscoring percentage tally of 50 or more from counter attacks. Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC have scored the joint-third most goals from counter attacks so far, alongside Mumbai City FC.


Goals this season (league phase and playoffs)

Goals from counter attacks

Percentage of counter-attacking goals

Chennaiyin FC




ATK Mohun Bagan




Bengaluru FC




Mumbai City FC




FC Goa




East Bengal FC




Hyderabad FC




Kerala Blasters FC




NorthEast United FC




Odisha FC




Jamshedpur FC




The deadly duos

Initiating a counter attack requires high-intensity movements and quick, precise passing before the opponent can recover their shape during transitions. Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan boast players who have been the attacking linchpin for their respective teams when it comes to counter attacks.

Dimitri Petratos has been ATK Mohun Bagan’s leading goal scorer from counter attacks, with seven strikes to his name. He has scored close to 54% of their counter-attacking goals this season. The Australian has also tallied three assists, having a hand in 10 of their 13 counter-attacking goals.

Petratos’ teammate, Hugo Boumous has been involved in seven of their 13 counter-attacking goals with three goals and four assists to his name. Boumous and Petratos have already established a great partnership in attack for the Mariners. Three of Boumous’ four assists have been for Petratos. 

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC have witnessed a similar partnership bloom in attack. In former ATKMB players Javi Hernandez and Roy Krishna, they have two quality players who are capable of hurting any defence during transitions.

Hernandez has scored the most number of goals from counter attacks for the Blues this season (4). The Spaniard has been a peripheral figure for BFC, racking up the most number of goal contributions (12).

Hernandez, alongside Krishna, have been joint-tied for the most assists (five) for Bengaluru FC this season. However, all of Krishna’s assists have come during counter attacks.

Krishna, with his brilliant ability to take on defenders and run with the ball, has also netted five goals this season. Two of them have come from counter attacks. Overall, he has been involved in seven of his club’s 11 counter-attacking goals.

Over the course of Hero ISL history, finals have been decided by the finest margins. Saturday's Hero ISL final wil pit two sides who have been strong defensively. While ATKMB have the most number of clean sheets, BFC have kept the third highest number of clean sheets (seven), joint-tied with Mumbai City FC. In Vishal Kaith and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, they have two solid keepers with the highest amount of saves this season. But when the two sides take the pitch on Saturday, they will look to play to their strengths and exploit the opposition in the way they know best – counter attacks.