The playoff stage of the Indian Super League (ISL) will begin on March 5 while the final will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on March 13.
The full schedule for ISL 2020-21 playoffs as well as the final was released by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) – the organisers of the ISL – on Wednesday.
The league phase of the ISL ends on February 28. The competition will resume again after a four-day break with the first leg of semi-final 1.
As per the ISL tournament structure, the top four teams at the end of the ISL 2020-21 league phase progresses to the playoffs. The top team faces off against the fourth-placed team in semi-final 1, while the second and third-placed teams square off in semi-final 2.
Both the semi-finals will be played over two legs and the winners of each will move on to the final on March 13. The semi-finals will be played across two venues – the GMC Stadium in Bambolim and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
Fatorda will also host the summit clash for the third consecutive time.
This season, the 'Away Goal' rule will not apply in the semi-finals. Teams with the highest goal aggregate in their respective two-legged ties will progress to the final.
League leaders ATK Mohun Bagan (36 points in 17 matches) and second-placed Mumbai City FC (34 points from 17 matches) have already qualified for the playoffs, but their final position may change depending on the remaining league phase games.
Hyderabad FC (27 points in 18 matches), NorthEast United FC (26 points in 17 matches), FC Goa (24 points in 17 matches), Bengaluru FC (22 points in 18 matches), Jamshedpur FC (21 points from 18 matches) and East Bengal (17 points from 17 matches) are still in the hunt for the remaining two playoff spots.
East Bengal’s chances, however, are close to none and purely mathematical.
Chennaiyin FC (18 points in 18 matches), Kerala Blasters FC (16 points in 18 matches) and bottom-placed Odisha FC (9 points from 17 matches) are already out of the top four race.
The team finishing on top of the table by the end of the league phase will be crowned as the League Shield Winners and earn a direct group-stage entry into the AFC Champions League next season. The ISL trophy will, however, go to the winner of the playoffs and final.
ISL 2020-21 playoff schedule and final dates
The competing teams will be determined only once the ISL league table standings are finalised.
Friday, March 5: Semi-final 1 – 1st leg
Saturday, March 6: Semi-final 2 – 1st leg
Monday, March 8: Semi-final 1 – 2nd leg
Tuesday, March 9: Semi-final 2 – 2nd leg
Saturday, March 13: ISL final