The league phase of the Indian Super League has entered its final lap and for the top five teams in the league there’s still everything to play for.
Leaders ATK Mohun Bagan and second-placed Mumbai City FC who are separated by three points are locked in a two-way tussle for the top spot that would land them a spot in next season’s AFC Champions League group stage. NorthEast United are the third team to reach the semi-finals.
Fourth-placed FC Goa and fifth-placed Hyderabad are vying for the final last semi-final spots.
Here’s how the table looks going into the final round of matches.
|ATK Mohun Bagan||19||12||4||3||28:13||15||40|
|SC East Bengal||19||3||8||8||17:27||-10||17|
The battle for both the top spot and the semi-final places is set to go to the last day with ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC clashing in the final game of the league phase in a straight playoff for the AFC Champions League spot.
FC Goa and Hyderabad meet in the earlier game on Sunday that will determine the semifinalists
Odisha FC vs SC East Bengal
FC Goa vs Hyderabad
Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Race for the AFC Champions League/ ISL Shield
With ATK Mohun Bagan playing Mumbai City FC, it’s pretty straightforward. The Mariners need at least a draw to keep their place at the summit and win the ISL Shield and qualify for next edition of the AFC Champions League.
As for Mumbai City FC, they need to beat the Mariners to leapfrog them in the table thanks to a superior head-to-head record.
Goal difference won’t come into the picture.
If ATK Mohun Bagan avoid defeat against Mumbai, they would have also recorded the highest points tally in ISL league phase.
Race for the semi-finals
The race for the semi-finals is also down to one game with the winner bagging the final semi-final spot. While a draw will suffice for FC Goa, Hyderabad will have to beat FC Goa to have a chance.
The Nizams have no chance of making third place and can only reach as high as the fourth place. Goa though can still finish third if they beat Hyderabad in the final game. A draw would mean that Goa would finish in fourth spot.
Irrespective of the teams that qualify for the semi-finals, it is going to be a great finish to the league phase of the ISL. As they say, it’s squeaky bum time.