This edition will see two teams who have already played the final once.

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 final is almost upon us. Bengaluru FC continued their remarkable comeback from a poor first half of the season by pipping Mumbai City in the playoffs. Now, they will play in their third ISL final against heavyweights ATK Mohun Bagan.

Both teams have never met each other in a final. It’s expected to be a thrilling contest in Goa between two sides that significantly picked up their form in the last few months. Fans will also hope that it exceeds some of the standards set by previous finals.

The ISL has held eight finals so far in its history. Here we look back at all the finals to have taken place in the competition.

Atletico de Kolkata vs Kerala Blasters (2014 ISL Final)

In the debut ISL final, Kolkata giants Atletico de Kolkata faced off against a David James-led Kerala Blasters side. The game was played at the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai in front of over 35,000 fans. The game was a relatively tight one, with both teams cancelling each other out for the majority of it.

ISL 2014 final
Atletico de Kolkata were the champions in 2014. (PTI/AFP)

Just as it looked like the final would head into extra time, something dramatic happened in added time. In the 95th minute, Atletico de Kolkata substitute Mohammed Rafique lept highest to score a brilliant header to win the game for his side. The Blasters were gutted and Rafique gained a place in ISL folklore with his heroics.

Chennaiyin FC vs FC Goa (2015 ISL Final)

In what is still regarded as arguably the most entertaining ISL final in the competition’s history, Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa played out a classic in 2015. Held at the Fatorda Stadium, giving Goa the home-field advantage, the final was a major spectacle for the fans. Chennaiyin drew first blood in the 54th minute through Bruno Pelissari, but Goa bit back with an equalizer four minutes later through Semboi Haokip. Goa, inspired by their home supporters, worked hard and scored again in the 87th thanks to Jofre.

ISL 2015 final
Chennaiyin FC crowned champions. (ISL Media)

It appeared like that was the winner, but then telling Chennaiyin strikes changed the face of the game. A horrible error from Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani in the 90th minute gave Chennaiyin an equalizer. Then a minute later, Chennaiyin striker Stiven Mendoza dribbled past three players and scored an amazing goal to help Chennaiyin lift their first ISL title.

Kerala Blasters vs ATK (2016 ISL Final)

The 2016 ISL final still holds the record for the highest attendance in the big occasion’s history. Held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi in front of over 50,000 supporters, home favorites Kerala Blasters faced off against ATK. It was a revenge match for the defeat in the 2014 final against the Kolkata side. This was a relatively more entertaining game than the previous encounter with more goals.

ISL 2016 final
Second title for the Kolkata outfit. (AFP)

Mohammed Rafi opened the scoring for the Blasters in the 37th minute, sending the fans into raptures. But ATK defender Henrique Sereno got the game level just before half-time, balancing things out. Neither team was able to score in the second half or in extra time, forcing a penalty shootout – the first ever in an ISL final. ATK goalkeeper Debjit Majumder scripted himself as the hero of the night, saving two penalties to help his side lift the title and get their second ISL title.

Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC (2017-18 ISL final)

Bengaluru FC took the ISL by storm after entering the competition in the 2017-18 season. In their debut season, the Blues marched their way into the final to face Southern rivals Chennaiyin FC. The game took place at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru – giving the Blues an advantage. But Chennaiyin had other plans altogether. This was a highly entertaining final as well, filled with goals.

Chennaiyin FC with the Trophy in the 2017-18 season. (ISL Media)

After a bad start, with Sunil Chhetri scoring the opener in the 9th minute, the Marina Machans took control in the first half thanks to a brace from defender Mailson Alves. Raphael Augusto added a third in the 67th minute – with Chennaiyin weathering attack after attack for the remainder of the game. Miku’s 92nd-minute goal couldn’t help Bengaluru, and Chennaiyin held on to claim their second title.

FC Goa vs Bengaluru FC (2018-19 ISL Final)

Wounded by their first ISL final loss, Bengaluru FC maintained their impressive form in their second ISL season. They fought their way into another final, where they faced a hungry FC Goa side at the Mumbai Football Arena. Despite both sides boasting impressive attacking quality, the game was a rigid affair.

Bengaluru FC with their first Indian Super League Trophy. (ISL Media)

It stretched all the way to extra time and even there, neither set of players were able to score initially. Just as it looked like a penalty shootout was inevitable, Mumbai-born Rahul Bheke rose highest to score an amazing header in the 117th minute. Bengaluru FC got their redemption from the 2017-18 ISL final loss and finally lifted the title in Mumbai.

ATK vs Chennaiyin FC (2019-20 ISL Final)

The 2019-20 ISL final marked the beginning of a surreal period in Indian football. It was the first ISL game to be held behind closed doors at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa. The show, as authorities and the teams decided, had to go on as the Covid-19 pandemic dawned upon the world. ATK and Chennaiyin FC faced each other, and both tied for two ISL titles. The prize of becoming the ‘most successful team in ISL history’ was on the stakes. Antonio Lopez’s side was undeterred by the occasion and actually thrived off the empty atmosphere.

ATK vs Chennaiyin FC: Watch highlights here

Influenced by a Spanish core, they outclassed Chennaiyin for the majority of the game. Javi Hernandez opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a well-taken strike, before Edu Garcia scored in the 48th minute. Chennaiyin got one back through Nerijus Valskis in the 69th minute. But ATK held on enough for Hernandez to score another in the 93rd minute to seal the win and third ISL title for the Kolkata side.

Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan (2020-21 ISL Final)

The first full ISL season behind closed doors saw the final happen between two ‘giants’ – who earned their reputation thanks to their financial might and quality. ATK Mohun Bagan – the Kolkata side that saw ATK merge with Mohun Bagan – faced off against Mumbai City FC. The Islanders had won the league stages and even got to the ISL final. The Mariners were desperate to end their season with at least one trophy, but Mumbai did not take things lightly. ATKMB took the lead in the 18th minute through David Williams, but a series of poor errors undid their good work.

Mumbai City vs ATK Mohun Bagan: Watch highlights here

Tiri scored a silly own goal in the 29th minute and the game dragged on after that. Just as extra time beckoned, a series of defensive errors allowed Bipin Singh to score the winner in the 90th minute. This allowed Mumbai to win the ISL final and do the ‘double’ of the league shield and also the ISL trophy.

Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters (2021-22 ISL Final)

The game that marked the ‘return of fans’ for the ISL was the 2021-22 final at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa. An inspired Hyderabad FC faced off against Kerala Blasters – who hoped that the third time would be the charm for them. It even seemed that their dream would become a reality as well. After dominating the majority of the game, the Blasters took the lead through Rahul KP in the 68th minute – sparking loud celebration from their fans.

Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters: Watch highlights here

But Hyderabad would not allow them to get off that easily. Hyderabad’s super-sub, Sahil Tavora scored an amazing long-range strike in the 88th minute to force extra time. Neither set of players were able to make a difference in it, forcing penalties. It ended up being a nail-biter of a shootout, where Goa-born Laxmikant Kattimani made the difference. He saved three penalties to help Hyderabad FC seal the win and claim their first-ever ISL title.

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