No way through: Ranking the five clubs with the most clean sheets in Hero ISL history

A triumphant club is defined not just by the goals they score but also by the impenetrable walls built by its backline and the fortifying setup erected by the goalkeeper to maintain a shut-out.

Nearing a decade of footballing action in the country, the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has witnessed several resolute, unrelenting, and gritty instances of defending, resulting in a total domination of guarding the fortress, upholding the goal line, conceding zero goals in a match, and ultimately leading to a clean sheet.  

It's a habit that's hard to acquire but when a team masters it, success is almost a guarantee. Here are the five clubs with the most clean sheets in Hero ISL history.

Mumbai City FC (45 clean sheets in 126 games)

The Islanders top the clean sheet leaderboard with 45 clean sheets. A chunk of which has come through former Mumbai City FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh who holds the record for most clean sheets for Mumbai City FC - 28. Under the leadership of head coach Sergio Lobera in the 2020-21 season, the Islanders were one of the most imperishable sides, which saw them keep 10 clean sheets - their best clean sheet tally.

Chennaiyin FC (35 clean sheets in 129 games)

The two-time Hero ISL champions aren’t far behind when it comes to clean sheets. Boasting 35 clean sheets in 129 games, keepers Karanjit Singh and Vishal Kaith have led from the front, keeping 13 and 11 clean sheets, respectively. The Marina Machans best-ever clean sheet tally came in the 2017-18 season where they kept 8 clean sheets in 21 games, gliding them to their second Hero ISL title

NorthEast United FC (33 clean sheets in 123 games)

NorthEast United FC may have had their ups and downs in the Hero ISL but they are renowned for their defensive stability. Keeping 33 clean sheets in 123 games, the Highlanders have climbed up the ladder through TP Rehenesh and Subhasish Roy, collectively keeping a total of 20 clean sheets for the Guwahati-based club. NEUFC’s best campaign came in the 2018-19 season, keeping a record-best tally of eight clean sheets.

FC Goa (33 clean sheets in 132 games)

The Gaurs, by their lofty attacking standards, have done fairly well in the defensive department as well, keeping 33 clean sheets in 132 games. Former custodian Mohammad Nawaz is the leading shot-stopper to keep 10 clean sheets, most by any goalkeeper at FC Goa. The Gaurs' best ever clean sheet tally came in the 2018-19 season as they kept eight shut-outs, joint highest along with Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United FC.

ATK FC (32 clean sheets in 107 games)

Three-time Hero ISL winners, ATK FC have an impressive record of maintaining 32 clean sheets in just 107 games. With veteran Arindam Bhattacharja as the first-choice goalkeeper for most of the seasons, the Kolkata-based side were rock solid at maintaining clean sheets. The club’s repertoire of excellent backline along with a veteran in the goal line paved the way to their Hero ISL title triumph in the 2019-20 season, while also keeping nine clean sheets in 21 games, their best-ever clean sheet tally.

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