From scoring thrilling winners to jaw-dropping equalisers, substitute goals have a different charm. Netting goals amid intense competitiveness, nerve-wracking pressure, and sharp tactical battles holds paramount significance, especially for substitutes.

Only players with boundless energy, determination, mental strength, and innate potential can alter the dimension of a 90-minute game, providing their team with a crucial edge in high-stakes fixtures.

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023–24 season witnessed several spectacular substitute goals that shifted the outcome of matches thanks to lethal forwards. From Dimitrios Diamantakos to Bipin Singh, Jason Cummings to Irfan Yadwards, few names scored match-defining goals in the league's tenth edition.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the best substitute goalscorers from the recent ISL season.

Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC) vs Odisha FC

Subbed on: 58’ | Goal Scored: 66’


Kerala Blasters FC were trailing by a 0-1 scoreline against Odisha FC courtesy of Diego Mauricio’s first-half goal. However, the Blasters bounced back in the second half, initiated by Diamantakos’ equaliser. A cheeky wide ball found the Greek forward inside the six-yard box, and he made no mistake in hitting the target from a tight angle, beating onrushing Amrinder Singh at the near post. Adrian Luna’s stunning goal later secured a 2-1 victory for Kerala Blasters FC, making Ivan Vukomanovic’s comeback more remarkable at Kochi.

Jonathan Moya (Hyderabad FC) vs Punjab FC

Subbed on: 63’ | Goal Scored: 90+8’


Juan Mera’s left-footed screamer had given Punjab FC the upper hand, as the Shers were leading until the 97th minute. It was an absolute peach of a delivery from Mark Zothanpuia from the left flank, who played an inch-perfect cross targeting Jonathan Moya inside the opponent's box. The Costa Rican forward made no mistake in heading home the important equaliser in the dying seconds of the game.

Jason Cummings (Mohun Bagan SG) vs Mumbai City FC

Subbed on: 62’ | Goal Scored: 80’


In the ISL League Shield decider in Kolkata, the Mariners took a 1-0 lead through Liston Colaco's robust strike from the edge of the box. In the dying minutes of the second half, Dimitri Petratos played a cross-field diagonal ball for Cummings, who seized the victory for the Kolkata-based club with his right-footed flick, beating keeper Phurba Lachenpa at the far post. Mumbai City FC managed to pull one goal back with Lallianzuala Chhangte, but it was not enough to prevent the Mariners from winning their first-ever League Shield.

Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa) vs Hyderabad FC

Subbed on: 46’ | Goal Scored: 47’


A game of two halves in Goa saw FC Goa create relentless pressure but struggle to break the deadlock in the opening half. However, the Gaurs finished the game with a big 4-0 scoreline courtesy of Noah Sadaoui’s sublime 12-minute hat-trick. The Moroccan winger-forward hit the target with his first touch after coming on in the early seconds of the second half. Mohammad Yasir’s left-footed lofted chip found Sadaoui behind Hyderabad FC's defense, whose fierce, precise strike spoiled the visitors’ persistence as the Gaurs took the lead in Goa.

Daniel Chima Chukwu (Jamshedpur FC) vs Chennaiyin FC

Subbed on: 61’ | Goal Scored: 90’


Despite Chennaiyin FC taking a 2-0 lead courtesy of Farukh Choudhary and Ninthoi Meetei, Jamshedpur FC equalised the scoreline with one goal in the dying minutes of each half to salvage a draw at the Furnace. Jamshedpur FC found its way through Daniel Chima Chukwu’s 90th-minute towering header, shrugging off Ryan Edwards to get the better of Nikhil Barla’s inswinging delivery while utilising his aerial presence.

Sahal Abdul Samad (Mohun Bagan SG) vs Odisha FC

Subbed on: 72’ | Goal Scored: 90+3’


It was another do-or-die game for Mohun Bagan SG, where Habas’ men got the better of Odisha FC in the return leg of the second semi-final. Jason Cummings and Sahal Abdul Samad were on target as the Mariners qualified for the final, beating the Kalinga Warriors by a 3-2 aggregate. The match was tied at 2-2 on aggregate until the 92nd minute. However, Manvir Singh’s dazzling run from the left flank outnumbered Odisha FC’s defense line, plating a pinpoint pass for Samad in front of Amrinder Singh, who somehow managed to find the back of the net to seal the two-goal margin win in the second leg.

Irfan Yadwad (Chennaiyin FC) vs Mohun Bagan SG

Subbed on: 88’ | Goal Scored: 90+7’


The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan witnessed another injury-time goal in the ISL 2023–24 season as Irfan Yadwad helped Chennaiyin FC edge past Mohun Bagan SG by a 3-2 scoreline in a see-saw outing. Dimitri Petratos’ 94th-minute penalty kick leveled the scoreline at 2-2, but the ultimate climax was destined for the 22-year-old Goa-born forward, who netted the winner in the five-goal thriller. A through ball down the middle from Ayush Adhikari found Yadwad, who made a quick run, getting past keeper Vishal Kaith to fire the ball into the back of the empty net.

Bipin Singh (Mumbai City FC) vs Mohun Bagan SG

Subbed on: 69’ | Goal Scored: 81’


The action replay of the ISL 2020–21 final was on display as the Mariners took the field against the Islanders in the ultimate game of the ISL 2023–24 season. Cummings and Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored a goal for each side, keeping the scoreline on level terms until the 80th minute. The winning goalscorer of the 2020-21 final chose to manifest his own history as he hit the target again against Mohun Bagan SG in the final, providing his side with a much-needed lead in Kolkata. Jakub Vojtus’s precise cut-back found Bipin Singh free in front of Vishal Kaith, who scrambled at first to lodge his shot, but later his deflected attempt found the back of the net, leaving Mohun Bagan SG defenders helpless.

Sivasakthi Narayan (Bengaluru FC) vs Hyderabad FC

Subbed on: 77’ | Goal Scored: 87’


Two second-half goals from Javi Hernandez and Ramhlunchhunga were not enough to separate both sides, as the match was tied at a 1-1 scoreline until the 86th minute. Sivasakthi Narayan, the 22-year-old substitute, quickly cut in from the right flank, beat his marker to create space for himself, and fired a powerful left-footed strike that found the far bottom corner, awarding all three points to Bengaluru FC as the match resulted in a 2-1 scoreline.