Season 2 of the Indian Super League ended with some statement. Chennaiyin FC became the champions after beating FC Goa in a jaw-dropping game that saw drama of the highest level at the death.
The final score was 3-2 in favour of the away side at the JLN Stadium in Fatorda, Goa, on Sunday. When two crucial goals, which included the winning goal, are scored in the injury time following 90 minutes of play, you can bet that the match has indeed lived up to its billing of a blockbuster.
An own goal by FC Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani, who incidentally had one of the best matches in the ISL 2015 yesterday, made the scores level in the 90th minute. The Indian custodian made two penalty saves in the match to turn the spotlight on himself.
However, the spotlight only belonged to one man, right from the start to the end -- Stiven Mendoza. The lightning-footed Colombian scored the winning goal for Chennaiyin FC in the injury time; also the 185th goal of ISL 2015, to single-handedly award the trophy to his team.
The 23-year-old deservingly earned the 'Hero of the League' award as well after his superlative performances for his team throughout the season.
Here is the list of the ISL 2015 award winners:
Golden Boot: Stiven Mendoza.
The Corinthians forward scored a total of 13 goals this season, to show his class once more and assert the fact that he is indeed one of the best players to play in the Indian Super League since its inception. Mendoza is not only a hero among the fans of the Super Machans, but also anyone who follows Indian football.
So what next for the star forward? "For now I will be going back to Corinthians [Brazil]. I have a two-year contract so I have to go back," Mendoza said. "About the [Indian Super] league, I am very proud of myself because I know I did well. And my team-mates played a very big part in my success."
Golden Glove: Edel Bete.
Mendoza's teammate Edel also stole the attention in the Indian Super League with his performances. The rock-solid goalkeeper also became the first player in the history of the ISL to win the trophy two consecutive times with two different sides. The Cameroonian signed off with six clean sheets this season, and he conceded 13 goals from his 13 appearances this season.
Edel, meanwhile, didn't speak of his individual performances much, and credited the success of the team to the immense chemistry. "Maybe it [success] is the spine of our side, but this season what has really been our strength or power is that we are a family. Off the field as well, you can see that we are together all the time. I think that's the most important thing for me," the custodian said in an exclusive to Goal.
Fair Play team award: Mumbai City FC
Nicolas Anelka's side boasted of big stars including Sunil Chhetri, Sony Norde, Frederic Piquionne, and more. However, they could not put together a good show despite some initial brilliance. The Maharashtra side finished six in the league with 16 points from 14 games this time.
Nevertheless, their on-the-field discipline awarded them the best Fair Play team this year. Mumbai City FC finished atop the Fair Play table with 78 points.