Indian Super League

ISL: 5 of the best defensive records in the league's history

Arjun Singh Devgan
The ISL is the biggest football competition in India
The ISL is the biggest football competition in India / Twitter/ISL
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The Indian Super League (ISL) is the biggest footballing league in India with arguably the best players in the country plying their trade in the competition. While there have been a number of top attacking players representing various clubs, the league has also given us some top defenders in it's history.

Here, we take a look at the five best defensive records in ISL history.

1. Mumbai City FC - 2016 - 0.69 goals conceded per game

FBL-IND-ISL-MUMBAI-KERALA
FBL-IND-ISL-MUMBAI-KERALA / PUNIT PARANJPE/GettyImages

Mumbai City FC were brilliant in the 2016 season as they not only topped the table after the league stage, but also put on scintillating displays on the pitch.

A key reason for their brilliance was their defence, with Lucian Goian, Anwar Ali, Sehnaj Singh and L Ralte conceding just eight goals in the 14-game regular season - with a ratio of just 0.69 goals conceded per game.

Despite topping the league table, they failed to make it to the finals after being beaten by eventual winners, ATK FC in the semifinals.

2. FC Goa - 2014 - 0.75 goals conceded per game

FBL-IND-ISL
FBL-IND-ISL / SAJJAD HUSSAIN/GettyImages

FC Goa were brilliant in attack in the 2014 ISL season, but that they were able to entertain fans was due to their solidity at the back, with their defence led by Gregory Arnolin conceding a measly 12 goals in 16 games.

Bruno Pinheiro partnered Arnolin in central defence as Narayan Das and Debabrata Roy played in the full-back positions, keeping an incredible ratio of just 0.75 goals conceded per game.

3. ATK FC - 2014 - 0.76 goals conceded per game

FLB-IND-ISL
FLB-IND-ISL / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/GettyImages

ATK FC won the inaugural ISL title courtesy of their defence with Josemi, Ofentse Nato and Arnab Mondal capable of transitioning from a back four to a back three at will.

Apoule Edel Bete played a key role in their success, registering eight clean sheets, which included two in the semi-final against FC Goa and one against Kerala Blasters FC in the final.

The Kolkata-based side conceded just 13 goals in 17 matches in what was a milestone season for them.

4. Bengaluru FC - 2019/20 - 0.8 goals conceded per game

Bengaluru FC went into the 2019/20 ISL season as the defending champions
Bengaluru FC went into the 2019/20 ISL season as the defending champions / Twitter

Bengaluru FC came into the 2019/20 season as the defending champions and continued their good form in the league by conceding just 16 goals in 20 matches, while keeping 11 clean sheets in the process.

Led by Juanan and Albert Serran the Blues' defence was equally comfortable in a back four and back three with the versatile Rahul Bheke and Harmanjot Khabra giving them the flexibility, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu giving them an towering presence in goal.

Despite their exploits at the back, the Blues were knocked out in the semifinal stage by eventual winners, ATK FC.

5. ATK Mohun Bagan - 2020/21 - 0.82 goals conceded per game

ATK Mohun Bagan were brilliant in the 2020/21 ISL season
ATK Mohun Bagan were brilliant in the 2020/21 ISL season / Twitter

ATK Mohun Bagan had the best defense in the 2020/21 season, with Tiri, Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal and Subhasish Bose along with goalkeeper, Arindam Bhattacharja making a big difference at the back.

They conceded just 19 goals in 23 matches, while also keeping ten clean sheets and could call themselves unlucky to lose to Mumbai City FC in the final.

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