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ISL 2023/24: Stunning Comeback wins

Witness the drama of the ISL 2023/24 season! This article recaps the most thrilling comeback wins, from FC Goa's last-gasp victory over Odisha to Mumbai City's historic fightback against the Gaurs in the semi-finals.

Moinak Banerjee
Last updated: 26.04.2024
ISL 2023-24 Stunning Comeback wins

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The ISL 2023/24 has been the most competitive season ever with the Shield and the playoff places not decided until the final league games. With the chase for the ISL trophy also drawing out fierce battles, there have been a lot of blockbuster games in stock this season. Some matches saw remarkable comebacks boosting the winning teams' morale to achieve their season's goal. Unprecedented records were also created on the way, cementing these games in the competition's history. 

Here are some of the stunning comeback wins of the ISL 2023/24 season:

FC Goa 3-2 Odisha FC (7 October 2023)

It was an early heavyweight clash between FC Goa and Odisha FC after both sides made major changes last summer. Not only in terms of signing star players but both the teams also appointed two successful coaches in their ranks. Manolo Marquez took charge of the Gaurs while the Juggernauts got the tutorship of the returning Sergio Lobera. The first match between the two this season went Manolo's way. Odisha FC took the lead inside six minutes through their set-piece converter Mourtada Fall but Noah Sadaoui’s double in the second half turned the game around. Fall once again restored parity for the Juggernauts in the 81st minute. However, there was more drama as left-back Jay Gupta scored a stunning winner in the dying embers of the match to give FC Goa all three points at Fatorda.            


Odisha FC 3-2 Bengaluru FC (31 October 2023)

The second major comeback win of the season involved Odisha FC but they were on the winning side this time. Sergio Lobera’s side battled against last season’s finalists Bengaluru FC, then under Simon Grayson, at home with both requiring a win to gain some form. Having won just once in the four matches, the Blues were looking for a response and they started brilliantly by racing to a 2-0 lead with Sunil Chhetri scoring in the eighth minute followed by Ryan Williams. Down but not out, Puitea inspired Odisha FC as his emphatic long-ranger reduced the deficit before Isak Ralte brought the scores level right before half-time. Right-back Amey Ranawade scored the eventual winner for the victory which proved crucial for Odisha FC as they did not suffer defeat in the next 11 league games and managed to stay unbeaten at home for the entire season.               

Mumbai City 2-3 Jamshedpur FC (4 February 2024)

League’s runners-up Mumbai City lost only three games all season, joint lowest with FC Goa, one of which came in the Mumbai Football Arena against a revamped Jamshedpur FC team under Khalid Jamil. The Islanders started the game in ideal fashion with Tiri and Alberto Noguera giving the home side a 2-0 lead within half an hour of the match. However, Petr Kratky’s side was not ready for the Men of Steel’s resurgence in the second half. Imran Khan and Jeremy Manzorro scored two quick-fire goals just five minutes after the break before the midfielder converted the 87th-minute winner from the spot for the sheer joy of the visitors.        

Kerala Blasters 4-2 FC Goa (25 February 2024)

A crazy game unfolded at the Kaloor Stadium in Kochi where Kerala Blasters and FC Goa met to stay in contention for the Shield. Both suffered a tumultuous period in the league post-Asian Cup with a major loss of form and wanted a victory by hook or crook. The visitors took charge of the early proceedings and within 20 minutes two goals to the good with Rowlin  Borges and Mohammad Yasir finding the net. The Tuskers seemed to be heading towards another miserable result even though Daisuke Sakai’s free-kick brought a goal back early in the second half. The roaring crowd was in full support of the home side and they managed to change the outcome. Dimitrios Diamantakos scored the leveller from the spot and again after Goa’s keeper Arshdeep Singh spilt an easy collection to send the crowd into a frenzy. Fedor Cernych smashed in at the near post shortly after to confirm the comeback.            

Mohun Bagan SG 2-3 Chennaiyin FC (31 March 2024)

One of the most shocking results in the ISL this season was Chennaiyin FC visiting Salt Lake and pulling off a remarkable result against eventual Shield winners Mohun Bagan Super Giant. The Mariners were unbeaten in the league this year before the match and took a goal lead to half-time through Joni Kauko. Despite conceding, Owen Coyle’s side kept their solidity and did not allow the Green and Maroons to add to their tally. Using their counter-attacking chances, the Marina Machans finally found an opening in the 72nd minute which was pounced upon by Jordan Murray. Just minutes later, Ryan Edwards headed in from a corner to put the visitors ahead. Even though Dimitri Petratos levelled the scoreline in stoppage time, substitute Irfan Yadwad ensured Chennaiyin FC left the pitch with a win by rounding Vishal Kaith off his line and slotting into an empty net. Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder also played a big part thanks to his stunning late saves to preserve the victory. Chennaiyin FC established a good run of form following this victory and eventually secured a place in the playoffs.                     

FC Goa 2-3 Mumbai City (24 April 2024)

The latest comeback of the ISL 2023/24 came in the semi final first leg between FC Goa and Mumbai hosted at Fatorda. Both teams were in the running for the Shield but eventually finished second and third respectively. While the Islanders qualified for the last four directly, the Gaurs had to beat Chennaiyin FC in the knockout match. The rivalry between the teams was rekindled in this meeting and it turned out to be a true spectacle. Despite FC Goa going two goals ahead through Boris Singh and Brandon Fernandes with the clock ticking towards 90, Mumbai City made an unbelievable turnaround in the stoppage time. Star forward Lallianzuala Chhangte scored a smashing winner after he and Vikram Pratap turned the game on its head. The Islanders became the first team in ISL history to score three goals in this manner and also took revenge of their first-ever playoff meeting in which Goa beat them at home in 2020.

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