The competition was lit up with plenty of sensational strikes including terrific team goals and individual brilliance.
The 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) showed plenty of glimpses of quality, grit, determination and commitment. The longest edition of the ISL till date promised plenty of fireworks and promptly delivered, as the intensity on the pitch didn’t lessen one bit, despite the obvious disappointment of the absence of fans.
Mumbai City FC showed class and determination to overcome all odds and mark their dominance this season by winning the double. But, every team showed the quality that they possessed and the potential of players to do something spectacular on their day. Nothing encapsulated this more than the quality of goals that were scored this season, which kept on getting better as the season went by.
While it was a very tough task, here are our picks for the top 10 goals of the ISL 2020-21 season.
10. Luis Machado Vs Odisha FC
The first goal on our list comes from a superb volley from NorthEast United attacker Luis Machado. The Portuguese latched onto a cross after some delightful intricate play from Suhair VP and Ashutosh Mehta on the right.
Machado hit a low volley past Arshdeep to give the Highlanders the lead and it was the way he made it look so easy that showed the quality of his shot giving the keeper no chance.
9. Vignesh Dakshinamurthy Vs Hyderabad FC
Mumbai City FC’s Vignesh Dakshinamurthy unleased a superb strike to give his side the lead against Hyderabad FC. Vignesh latched onto a lobbed pass from Bipin Singh and hit a superb volley past a frozen Subrata Paul.
It required balance and control from Vignesh to put it past a keeper of Paul’s quality, but he gave him absolutely no chance of stopping the shot.
8. Diego Mauricio Vs Chennaiyin FC
Diego Mauricio was one of the few bright spots for Odisha FC in a lacklustre campaign from the Juggernauts. The Brazilian scored 12 goals which included plenty of superb strikes.
In the league game against Chennaiyin FC, with Odisha trailing 2-0 to the Marina Machans, Mauricio took the ball from the centre circle and took a few strides towards the goal. He then hit a magnificent, curling effort that defeated a diving Vishal Kaith on goal as Mauricio gave Odisha hope in the game.
But it, once again, wasn’t to be the Juggernauts day as the two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC held on to win the game.
7. Glan Martins Vs Mumbai City FC
Glan Martins’ sensational 35-yard strike against Mumbai City FC has to make it to any list featuring the top goals scored this season. The Goan lad made a return to his hometown club after a brief spell with ATK Mohun Bagan.
The Gaurs needed some inspiration to make a comeback against the eventual champions and it came from Martins who unleashed a fiery shot that beat Amrinder Singh from 35 yards and inspired FC Goa’s resurgence in the game. His first goal in the ISL was one to cherish and among the best in the season and in the competition.
6. Diego Mauricio Vs Jamshedpur FC
Against Jamshedpur FC, Odisha were trailing 2-1 to the Men of Steel with a few minutes left on the clock. Jamshedpur promptly decided to put bodies back on goal and lock onto what would be an efficient win for them.
Odisha looked to people for inspiration and it was once again the Brazilian who took matters into his own hands by taking the ball on the left edge of the box and smashing a curling shot past the keeper and rescue a point for his side from the game, something which he did time and again this season.
5. Lalengmawia Vs Kerala Blasters
Lalengmawia received the “Emerging Player of the Season” award and it wasn’t tough to see why. The midfielder showed exemplary skills and quality on the ball and was one of the most important players in NorthEast United’s march to the playoffs. His importance to the team was established when Mawia became the youngest captain in the ISL this season at the age of 20 years and 44 days.
His only goal this season came from a 40-yard screamer which he scored against Kerala Blasters. The midfielder took the ball on the left-wing and after a short run, set himself up and smashed an unstoppable shot from 40-yards which left Albino Gomes helpless and marked the start of a special season for the young lad.
4. Manvir Singh vs Odisha FC
Manvir Singh once again proved why he is the rightful heir to the striker’s throne after the departure of Sunil Chhetri. The striker who moved from FC Goa last season showcased his potential and was the third-highest scorer for the finalists this season.
One of the goals he scored was a worldie from wide against Odisha FC. Manvir took the ball from Roy Krishna on the right edge of the box and after a fake shot, he took it on his left and hit a curling shot that beat Arshdeep Singh at his far post. The goalkeeper was left stranded and could do nothing as the ball flew into the net from Manvir’s left foot.
3. Rafael Crivellaro Vs FC Goa
Rafael Crivellaro is synonymous with dizzying skills, assists and some sensational goals, none better than the goal he scored in 2019-20 from the halfway line against NorthEast United.
This season, against FC Goa he scored a goal straight from a corner taking the ball over a plethora of FC Goa players and Dheeraj Singh who was completely bamboozled in his goal as he could do nothing about it despite having as many as 6 FC Goa players around him trying to head it out as Crivellaro’s shot went past everyone.
2. Gary Hooper Vs ATK Mohun Bagan
Gary Hooper was one of the best players for Kerala Blasters and he showed his class by scoring an absolute worldie against ATK Mohun Bagan. The former Celtic and Norwich City forward took the pass from a long ball from Sandeep Singh with one touch of his chest. Getting it into control, Hooper smashed the ball from 40 yards out.
The shot took ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Arindam completely by surprise and despite his best efforts to backtrack, he was completely beaten and bamboozled in his bastion.
1. Bright Enobakhare Vs FC Goa
SC East Bengal were going through a torrid time in the ISL and required someone to instigate an upward turn in form. Enter Bright Enobakhare.
The 23-year-old Nigerian who came from Wolverhampton Wanderers academy gave his best introduction to the ISL as he went on a solo run against FC Goa. Bright left the entire FC Goa defence to the floor as he ripped through them one-by-one. A sensational solo goal and a goal worthy of an introduction to the ISL. He continued to be one of the ‘bright’ spots in East Bengal’s poor campaign.