Hero ISL playoff race goes down to the wire; top four battle explained
FC Goa and ATK are guaranteed a top-two finish but the ultimate cast for the 2019-20 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs hinge on some intriguing final-week league fixtures.
Defending champions Bengaluru FC have also sealed qualification into the knockouts as Mumbai City, Chennaiyin FC and even Odisha FC hang onto their hopes of locking down on a coveted top-four finish.
The ISL, having been accorded the status of India’s top division this season onwards has added to the footballing charm. With both Bengaluru FC and ATK suffering shock defeats against lower-ranked oppositions over the past weekend, the league table has opened up and how. Three teams still remain in the hunt for the final playoff berth going into the last round of league games, making the league more competitive than ever.
Also, there is a bigger prize at stake now, the club that finishes on top at the end of the League stage gets a direct entry into the group stage of the AFC Champions League, a first for Indian clubs. Either FC Goa or ATK look set to grab a piece of history as the first-ever Hero ISL League Winners. Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City have it upon themselves to confirm the third and fourth spot respectively while Chennaiyin have the cushion of the extra game and Odisha have to rely on various permutations and combinations to march into the playoffs.
For ISL fixtures, League table and goal scorer stats visit: Hero ISL
FC GOA (36 Points)
Remaining Game: 19 Feb – Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa
Goa will have wrapped the regular season well and early as their trip to Jamshedpur on Wednesday could be a potential history in the making. The Gaurs need only one point (37 points) to confirm themselves as Hero ISL League Winners and gain entry into the AFC Champions League. However, their top spot could be in danger if they lose to Jamshedpur and ATK win their game against Bengaluru. Both teams will be tied on 36 points each but the Kolkata side will edge ahead in lieu of a better head-to-head record.
ATK (33 Points)
Remaining Game: 22 Feb – Bengaluru FC vs ATK
To end top, ATK will need Jamshedpur FC to first beat FC Goa and then themselves defeat Bengaluru. In this case, both FC Goa and ATK will be tied on 36 points but the two-time Hero ISL champions have a better head-to-head tally this season. If FC Goa even pick up a point in Jamshedpur, ATK will finish second regardless of their result against Bengaluru.
BENGALURU FC (29 Points)
Remaining Game: 22 Feb – Bengaluru FC vs ATK
The defending champions can cement the third spot they currently occupy with a win against ATK, taking them to 32 points as Chennaiyin FC, with two games in hand can rise up to 31 points. If Mumbai City defeat Chennaiyin and Bengaluru fall to ATK, the Islanders will topple Sunil Chhetri & Co. to third spot despite having the same number of points – 29; as Jorge Costa’s men did the double on Bengaluru. Else, just one point is sufficient for Bengaluru in that regard to stay third. If they lose, Bengaluru could end with the same number of points with Chennaiyin (29 points) but a better head-to-head will see them remain safe on third.
MUMBAI CITY (26 Points)
Remaining Game: 21 Feb – Mumbai City vs Chennaiyin FC
It is pretty simple for Mumbai City – win (29 points) against Chennaiyin and seal a playoff spot. If Bengaluru lose the following day, Mumbai City would end up third as well. However, if they draw (27 points) against Chennaiyin, the Islanders would need a favour from NorthEast United in the final league game of the season as well as from Kerala Blasters against Odisha FC. If Odisha win , their league double will ensure Mumbai City are eliminated. If not, and in case of a draw in Guwahati, both Chennaiyin and Mumbai City will be locked down on 27 points each. Superior goal difference in the league will come into play and in that case, Mumbai City will drop out.
CHENNAIYIN FC (25 Points)
Remaining Games: 21 Feb – Mumbai City vs Chennaiyin FC; 25 Feb – NorthEast United FC vs Chennaiyin FC
After their dramatic turnaround, Chennaiyin sit pretty with a couple of games in hand. However, Chennaiyin cannot afford to lose in Mumbai but a minimum of two points from two games combined with Odisha FC dropping points will do it for Owen Coyle’s men. If Chennaiyin win both their games (31 points) and Bengaluru drop points against ATK, the two-time Hero ISL champions could also finish third.
ODISHA FC (24 Points)
Remaining Game: 23 Feb – Odisha FC vs Kerala Blasters FC
Before Odisha take the field in the penultimate league game of the season, they would need Mumbai City and Chennaiyin to draw and then win against Blasters themselves. Both Mumbai City and Odisha then end up on 27 points each. Chennaiyin will then need to drop points at NorthEast United and with each of Mumbai City, Chennaiyin and Odisha tied on 27 points, the Bhubaneswar side will make the top four given their better head-to-head record with both sides.
We would love to hear your Feedback on your Football Counter experience
Show off your Indian and European football knowledge with the football fantasy game from Playerzpot. Download the App with our special Footballcounter referral code, start playing and win cash daily.
Download app here: Link or click on the image below
League leaders and defending champions Mumbai Customs will be wary of the competition as just two points separates the top 5 teams with late entrant ONGC on a stellar 6…
Leeds United College along with Sheffield FC Foundation have announced a new partnership with Sportifan Ventures Limited to help develop and market football and sports related educational courses in India….
At a time when #StayHomeStaySafe echoes the sentiment of not just 1.3 billion people but the entire world, National Team ‘Ironman’ Sandesh Jhingan, a born optimist, feels “it’s not long…
Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC has postponed their upcoming trials to a new tentative date in April, amidst the Corona Virus outbreak Regal football Club had earlier announced…
Newly promoted side Mumbai Marines FC are on the lookout for players for the upcoming season of the MDFA 1st Division, the club announced. After a successful MDFA 2nd Division…
Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC will be conducting a two day football trials for city footballers for their upcoming season Regal football Club has announced that they…
Mumbai based GKW Rangers FC will conduct trials for its MDFA 3rd division side as well as its U14 age group team that competes in MDFA Yuva Premier League U14….
Mumbai based Rhino Sports Academy will be conducting trials for its upcoming seasons of MDFA 1st Division and MDFA 3rd Division Rhino Sports Academy will be fielding a side each…
OSCAR SSE, a 2 star AIFF Accredited Academy, will be conducting age group trials (U13, U15 and U18 players) to induct in its Elite Program for 2020-21 season All the…
Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting their 2nd round of trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 29nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be…
Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 22nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be fielding a team in…
Ex-Servicemen Social Education and Sports foundation to conduct trials for MDFA 1st & 3rd Division reams
Ex-Servicemen social education and sports foundation will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division & 3rd Division sides The first round of trials for MDFA club Ex-Servicemen social education and…
The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), the governing body for football in Mumbai district is set to host their coaching camps and selection trials for the WIFA Inter District Men’s…