Highest scoring games of Hero ISL 2020-21
The Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) has witnessed some exhilarating, high-octane encounters over the years, and the 2020-21 season was no exception. In what was the biggest season yet with 115 matches on view, 298 goals were scored at an average of 2.59 goals per match. There were quite a few goal-fests as the season also saw a new Hero ISL record for most goals in a match. Here, we are reliving some of the highest scoring matches of the season that culminated with Mumbai City FC winning the trophy after beating ATK Mohun Bagan in the final last week.
Match 108: Odisha FC 6-5 SC East Bengal on February 27
In a game that saw a record 11 goals, it was SC East Bengal’s Anthony Pilkington who gave them the lead before S Lalhrezuala scored the equaliser. Odisha FC goalkeeper Ravi Kumar’s own goal ensured a 2-1 lead for SC East Bengal heading into the break. Paul Ramfangzauva then restored parity between the two sides just after halftime, and Jerry Mawihmingthanga gave them the lead a couple of minutes later. After a goal from Aaron Joshua Holloway for the Red and Gold Brigade, three goals in as many minutes scored by Paul, Jerry and Diego Mauricio gave Odisha FC a commanding lead. Jeje Lalpekhlua scored SC East Bengal’s fourth goal, and although Holloway’s second strike reduced the deficit to just a goal, the Bhubaneswar-based club held on to their slender lead. The previous record for maximum goals in a Hero ISL match was nine.
Match 105: Odisha FC 1-6 Mumbai City FC on February 24
Odisha FC featured in another goal-fest but this time they were at the receiving end. They took an early lead after Diego Mauricio scored from the spot but their goal made the Mumbai City FC players spring into action. Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a first-half brace either side of a Bipin Singh goal. A minute before halftime, Cy Goddard also found the net and a couple of minutes after the break, Bipin made it 5-1 in favour of the Islanders. Ahmed Jahouh missed a chance from the penalty spot but Bipin did well to round off a brilliant performance with his third goal of the game and thus became the first and only hat-trick scorer of Hero ISL 2020-21.
Match 98: Chennaiyin FC 3-3 NorthEast United FC on February 18
Lallianzuala Chhangte gave Chennaiyin FC an early lead but NorthEast United FC scored twice courtesy of Imran Khan and Deshorn Brown to give their side the advantage. In the second half, Manuel Lanzarote converted a penalty to level the score, before Chhangte scored his second goal and Chennaiyin FC’s third of the night. Just as the Highlanders were staring at a loss, they won an important penalty in injury time, which was scored by their top scorer of the season Luis Machado to help secure a point and keep their unbeaten streak intact.
Match 95: Mumbai City FC 2-4 Bengaluru FC on February 15
Bengaluru FC were the better side on the night as they went on to beat eventual champions Mumbai City FC 4-2. It took the Blues just a minute to go in front, courtesy of a goal from their Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva. He scored a first-half brace as the Blues went into the break leading 2-0. The Islanders launched a strong comeback after Adam le Fondre scored five minutes into the second half. Sunil Chhetri then scored to restore the Blues’ two-goal advantage. Le Fondre scored another to keep the Islanders in the hunt before a late Chhetri goal shattered all hopes of a Mumbai City FC comeback.
Match 87: Mumbai City FC 3-3 FC Goa on February 8
Mumbai City FC were held to a 3-3 draw against FC Goa in what was a nerve-racking encounter for both the sides. The Islanders took a two-goal lead after Hugo Boumous and Adam le Fondre found the back of the net. Just before halftime, new-signing Glan Martins’ long-range goal though halved the deficit, and then in the second half Golden Boot winner Igor Angulo scored the equaliser. Rowllin Borges’ header in second-half injury time gave the Islanders the lead. Just when the match seemed out of the Gaurs’ reach, their super-sub Ishan Pandita scored the equalising goal to secure a point for his team.
Match 51: NorthEast United FC 2-4 Hyderabad FC on January 8
It was a closely fought contest between NorthEast United FC and Hyderabad FC but two late goals secured the three points for the Telangana-based outfit. Aridane Santana gave Hyderabad FC the lead three minutes into the game before Joel Chianese doubled their advantage. Two goals in quick succession just before the break by Federico Gallego and Benjamin Lambot however helped NorthEast United FC draw level. With the match equally poised for both the teams, super-sub Liston Colaco came off the bench to score a brace in the dying minutes of the game to ensure the three points for Hyderabad FC.
Match 50: Kerala Blasters FC 2-4 Odisha FC on January 7
Odisha FC secured their first win of the season after beating Kerala Blasters FC. After Jordan Murray opened the scoring for Kerala Blasters FC, a Jeakson Singh own goal restored parity before defender Steven Taylor put the Bhubaneswar-based club ahead three minutes before halftime. Diego Mauricio then scored a second-half brace to give Odisha FC a commanding three-goal advantage before Gary Hooper’s strike reduced the deficit to two goals.
Match 27: Bengaluru FC 4-2 Kerala Blasters FC on December 13
In what was a commanding performance by the Blues, it was actually the Kochi-based club that went ahead early in the game. Rahul KP gave Kerala Blasters FC the lead but the young forward’s goal was cancelled out by Bengaluru FC's Cleiton Silva a few minutes later. The Blues made the most of their chances in the second half, with Erik Paartalu, Dimas Delgado and Sunil Chhetri finding the back of the net in the space of 13 minutes. Jordan Murray scored the second goal for Kerala Blasters FC before the Chhetri goal.