Mohun Bagan SG illuminated their Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24 season’s league stage with their first-ever League Shield triumph after securing a record 48 points (highest by any team) from 22 matches.

The Mariners kicked off their campaign with a seven-match unbeaten run under their former head coach Juan Ferrando, which initiated their League Shield dreams. However, they experienced a significant dip during the mid-phase of the season after facing three back-to-back defeats in December, which saw Mohun Bagan SG part ways with Ferrando and open the floor for Antonio Habas to begin his second stint with the club.

Under a vastly experienced head coach with different successful stints in India, the Mariners found their lost rhythm and re-emerged as one of the strongest contenders for the League Shield. Habas, who is known for his prudence and match-winning tactics, guided Subhasish Bose and Co. to cope with their unforeseen setback and led them to enjoy an eight-match unbeaten run since January, which ended following their 3-2 defeat against Chennaiyin FC in Kolkata.

However, Habas’ men displayed a never-say-die attitude, fighting spirit and collective determination in their last three matches, which were virtually finals for the Mariners to top the league. Notably, their 2-1 victory against Mumbai City FC in their final league game crowned Mohun Bagan SG with their first-ever ISL League Shield in the club’s history.

Key Stats in ISL 2023–24 season

Matches: 22, Wins: 15, Draws: 3, Losses: 4, Goals Scored: 47, Goals Conceded: 26, Goal Difference: 21, Points: 48, League Position: 1st

Tactical Profile


Antonio Habas revamped the atmosphere in Mohun Bagan SG’s squad and instilled the winnings mentality within the players since he took over the charge. The head coach showed an immediate response in a short time, as his team lost once in their last 12 league-stage matches.

The Spaniard preferred to go with an attacking 3-2-4-1 formation with a three-man defence at the back. With speedy, skilled wingers like Liston Colaco and Manvir Singh in the squad, this formation allowed Mohun Bagan SG to outstretch their movement using the width of the pitch to break the opponent’s defence line through both flanks.

Sometimes, Habas is seen to use a flat 3-5-2 formation to have numerical supremacy in the midfield. Using Joni Kauko, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Deepak Tangri in the centre of the pitch offers Habas stability and a different dimension in his lineup, where he places Dimitri Petratos and Jason Cummings upfront as double strikers.


Versatility in attack


Mohun Bagan SG have scored a record number of goals (47) this season, which ranks them first in this instance. The Mariners clocked 2.14 goals per game, which is also the highest among all 12 clubs.

The Kolkata-based club's offensive trio of Petratos, Jason Cummings, and Armando Sadiku experienced a stellar season with numerous goal contributions. Petratos and Cummings scored 10 goals each, while Sadiku has eight goals to his name in the ISL.

Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, and others were also seen finding the back of the net several times this season, which provided Habas various options in terms of scoring goals.

A guardian at the back


Mohun Bagan SG’s mainstay at the back, Vishal Kaith, gave his team valuable confidence with his standout performances over the matches. The custodian has kept eight clean sheets this season in 22 matches where he made two saves per game.

Throughout the season, Kaith made 45 saves, 16 punches, 24 clearances, and gathered 16 catches while also maintaining 67% passing accuracy with the ball. With his sublime performances under bars, Kaith has emerged as the backbone behind Mohun Bagan SG’s Shield triumph.


Defensive high line

Habas’ three-man defence sometimes has to face challenges with the opponent's quick counter-attacks. With wing-backs who are used to operating from midfield, opponents have used the space behind the Mariners' defence to cause them problems, creating pressure on Kaith at the back.

Set-piece goals

Out of their 47 goals this season, 38 came from open play, where only nine goals were scored in set-piece situations. The Mariners scored once from a direct free kick, three each from corners and free kicks, followed by two penalty goals. Despite having proficient players in their squad in the form of Petratos and Sahal, Habas’ men found it hard to score from dead-ball movements in comparison with open-play moves. In the playoffs where games will be tight and goals from open play might be difficult to come, Mariners can do with more goals from dead-ball situations.

Player to watch out for: Dimitri Petratos


The Aussie forward has become the talisman for the Mariners with his impactful performances throughout the season. Petratos, who proved himself as the game-changer for Mohun Bagan SG, found the back of the net in the most decisive moments.

In his 20 appearances, Petratos has made 16 contributions and also created 52 chances for his team. He played 495 successful passes, clocking 29 passes per game, attempted 26 shots on target, and won 30 duels. Petratos has a 16.95% goal contribution rate, followed by a record of 0.5 goals per game.

Records and Unique Stats

  • Mohun Bagan SG scored the most goals (47) and have 15 different goal scorers this season. They have the best xG differential (15.19), the highest shot conversion rate (13.86), and have also taken the most number of shots on target (133).

  • The Mariners won the highest number of matches (15) and secured the most points (48) in a single season in the league’s history.

  • Habas’ men secured 28 away points this season, which is also the most by any team.

  • The League Shield winners won nine matches with multiple goals in the ISL 2023–24 season.

Probable Starting XI: Vishal Kaith (GK), Subhasish Bose (C), Hector Yuste, Anwar Ali, Manvir Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Joni Kauko, Sahal Abdul Samad, Liston Colaco, Dimitri Petratos, Jason Cummings