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ATK to go all out against Chennaiyin in Super Cup semis

Both Chennaiyin FC and ATK will be eager to end the season on a high.

Bhubaneswar, April 10: The second semi-final of the Super Cup 2019 will pit two former Indian Super League (ISL) champions - ATK and Chennaiyin FC - against each other at the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday (April 10).

Waiting them in the final is FC Goa, who quelled the challenge of I League champions Chennai City FC rather easily with a 3-0 win.

Both Chennaiyin FC and ATK had a somewhat disappointing ISL 2018-19 campaign and will be eager to end the season on a high by reaching the final of the knockout competition and hopefully winning the title.

Given the prevalent rivalry between the two sides, one can expect both sides to go all out in what promises to be a high-voltage contest.

Cautiously optimistic

Cautiously optimistic

At the pre-match press conference, ATK coach Steve Coppell seemed cautiously optimistic.

"I think every game is so different, you can never predict them. After 10-15 minutes of actual play, you get a measure of how the game is going to play out. Certainly, in my mind, Chennaiyin are obviously a very dangerous side and they've ambition to try and win this competition. As always, I hope it's entertaining and I hope the best team wins."

New-found positivity

New-found positivity

From Chennaiyin's end, coach John Gregory spke about the new-found positivity in the camp.

"The mood in the dressing room is very good. It's great to be involved on both fronts - in the Super Cup and the AFC Cup. The players are all excited at the prospect of progressing to a final. Generally, there's a good mood. We were obviously disappointed with the ISL season. However, the attitude has been great going into both cup competitions."

Fine touch

Fine touch

After struggling in front of goal throughout the season, Coppell's side has been in fine touch in the Super Cup, scoring seven goals in their two outings so far.

Striker Balwant Singh has been in terrific form, scoring four of these seven, including a brilliant hat-trick against Delhi Dynamos FC in the quarterfinals.

Apart from Balwant, midfielders Manuel Lanzarote and Jayesh Rane, too, have been in fine touch and will be a handful for the Chennaiyin defence in Wednesday's tie.

Mini resurgence

Mini resurgence

After a thoroughly disappointing ISL 2018-19, which saw them finish bottom of the table, Chennaiyin are enjoying a mini-resurgence of sorts.

Anirudh Thapa has been thoroughly impressive of late, pulling the strings from the midfield and taking over the role of the side's creative impetus with grace and authority.

The 21-year-old's technical abilities have shone through in the last few matches and against a strong ATK midfield, Thapa's influence on the tie can very well turn out to be the deciding factor of the match.

Super Cup semifinal kick-off

ATK vs Chennaiyin FC

8.30pm at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Live on Star Sports 3

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Story first published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 10:54 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 10, 2019
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