ATKMB made a valiant effort to make a comeback, but Jamshedpur stood firm and earned three points, becoming the first team in ISL history to win seven games in a row.
Jamshedpur FC Beating ATK Mohun Bagan
All of this was done against opponents who were meant to be stronger on paper, both individually and collectively. It’s only fitting that it was the goal that helped Jamshedpur FC win the ISL League Shield for the first time in their short history.
In the 56th minute of the last encounter of the league stage, Ritwik’s strike made it Jamshedpur 1, ATK Mohun Bagan 0. That is how it would stay. This latest iteration of India’s grand old club had been defeated by a forgotten kid from the Mohun Bagan academy. Jamshedpur FC were crowned champions at the end of the 97-minute match.
It may not have been the ending that anyone predicted, but it was no accident. This was their seventh win in a row, an ISL record. It took their tally to 43 points, another league record. Owen Coyle has fashioned a team who embody his very best quality on and off the field – relentless optimism – and they have repaid him with glory. ATKMB ended their league engagements having 37 in their kitty from 20 matches.
On Monday, Jamshedpur FC took the lead against ATK Mohun Bagan at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa, as both clubs fought tooth and nail for the ISL League Winners’ Shield.
The only problem is that the Mariners will have to defeat the Men of Steel by two goals or more to win the League Winners’ Shield, as the former has a better head-to-head record than the latter, having lost 2-1 to Jamshedpur FC earlier this season. The Men of Steel, on the other hand, have a straightforward route to the Shield. The Owen Coyle-led side will lift the trophy with a win or a draw.
Michael Soosairaj and Abhilash Paul of ATK Mohun Bagan are unavailable for Monday’s match, while David Williams and Hugo Boumous are recovering from injuries. Mobashir Rahman has been suspended by Jamshedpur FC. Jamshedpur FC has beaten ATK Mohun twice in three meetings, with the latter winning one of the matches last season.
Jamshedpur will face Kerala Blasters FC in the first semi-final on March 11, while ATKMB will face Hyderabad FC the following day in the second last-four match. The cash prize for the League Shield will make Jamshedpur richer by Rs 3.5 crore.
ATKMB needed a 2-0 win to leapfrog Jamshedpur and second-placed Hyderabad FC, but it was not to be as Ritwik continued his golden patch with a magnificent strike after Greg Stewart did all the heavy lifting. It remains to be seen whether the freshly crowned League Shield champions will go on to win the Hero ISL, but they have already had an outstanding season.