Jamshedpur FC produced a clinical performance to beat ATK Mohun Bagan by a solitary goal in the final league match of Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 on Monday at Fatorda Stadium, Margao in Goa. (More Football News)
Ritwik Das scored the all-important goal in the 56th minute against a dominant ATK Mohun Bagan side to seal the deal for Jamshedpur FC.
Here's how the 25-year-old midfielder scored the goal:
.@JamshedpurFC move closer to the #HeroISL 2021-22 League Winners Shield as Ritwik Das's strike finds the bottom corner!— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) March 7, 2022
Watch the #ATKMBJFC game live on @DisneyPlusHS - https://t.co/8liTHlc6av and @OfficialJioTV
Live Updates: https://t.co/ht01TA2pg5#LetsFootball #RitwikDas pic.twitter.com/QUzdGzQHMn
The win helped Jamshedpur top the ISL 2021-22 league with 43 points, a record in the league's history, and also win the League Winners Shield and earned a direct spot in the AFC Champions League.
ATK Mohun Bagan, the most successful side in ISL, needed a two-goal margin to upstage Jamshedpur.
But despite their dominant possession, the three-time champions could hit the target only twice. Juan Ferrando's side finished the league stage third with 37 points. Last season, they missed out on the 'Shield' despite finishing the league stage on equal points with eventual winners Mumbai City.
Semis Line-up Confirmed
In the two-legged ISL 2021-22 semis, Jamshedpur FC will play fourth-place Kerala Blasters while ATK Mohun Bagan will face second-place Hyderabad FC.
The first-leg semi-finals will be held on March 11 and March 12. The second legs are scheduled for March 15 and March 16. The final will be played on March 20.
ISL 2021-22 semi-finals and the final will can be watched live on the Star Sports Network. Live streaming of the ISL will be available on Disney+ Hotstar and on Jio TV.
A stupendous Das strike after Greg Stewart's spadework helped Jamshedpur FC and himself gallop into the history books with a second-half winner to down ATK Mohun Bagan. Jamshedpur will get richer by INR 3.5 crore, the prize money for the League Shield.
Jamshedpur needed to draw to finish top of the table and clinch the League Shield, and the Red Miners rode Ritwik's goal in the 56th minute to ensure they finish the season on a high, capping off a stellar campaign under Owen Coyle.
With stakes so high, it was expected to be a cagey affair and so it was with both teams eager to suss each other out.
The Mariners enjoyed more of the ball in the initial exchanges, coming closest to breaking the deadlock when a wild attempt from Tiri went wide.
But the busiest person on the field was Crystal John, the referee as he reached to his pocket thrice, flashing yellow cards in the first half and all to Jamshedpur players.
After the change of ends, Stewart started bossing proceedings with his mazy runs and incisive passing, the industry bearing fruit four minutes to the hour mark when the Scotsman evaded two ATKMB shirts to cut into his right and beat his marker.
Stewart went for goal himself but the ball came off an ATKMB player and fell to Ritwik, who shot the first time and beat Amrinder Singh. 1-0 for Jamshedpur.
ATKMB tried hard to forge a comeback but Jamshedpur held firm and eventually bagged three points, becoming the first side in the ISL history to make seven wins in a row.
A New Dawn In Steel City
It was a new dawn for football in the steel city, boasting of one of India's biggest academies, Tata Football Academy which has produced a plethora of footballers over the years.
Jamshedpur's renaissance under Coyle began last year when they finished a credible sixth, hinting at a playing style under the reputed English tactician and also a roadmap for the future.
This year, Stewart was exceptional for Jamshedpur and so was Daniel Chima Chukwu whose move to the club in January proved to be a masterstroke.
It remains to be seen whether the newly-crowned League Shield winners go on to win the ISL or not, but it has already been an exceptional season for them.