Bhubaneswar, April 2: ATK needed two late goals to beat a resilient Real Kashmir FC 3-1 and progess to the quarterfinals of the Hero Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
For a place in the semifinals, ATK will take on fellow Indian Super League (ISL) side Delhi Dynamos FC on April 5.
Balwant Singh gave ATK an early lead in the 25th minute. But Mason Robertson restored parity for Real Kashmir just six minutes later.
After the change of ends, the scoreboard remained till the 79th minute before Manuel Lanzarote broke the deadlock.
Substitute Everton Santos gave ATK the comfort goal four minutes later.
Two wonder goals from Manuel Lanzarote and Everton Santos have titled the game in favour of @ATKFC against @realkashmirfc .#HeroSuperCup #HeroILeague #HeroISL #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/SLwAbVsV7F— Khel Now (@KhelNow) April 1, 2019
Lanzarote, who set up the first goal for Balwant and then followed it up by scoring the all-important second goal himself was named the Hero of the Match.
A wonder volley ✅— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) April 1, 2019
An inch-perfect assist ✅
An all-action attacking display ✅@ATKFC's Manuel Lanzarote was, without doubt, the #ATKRKFC 'Hero of the Match'.#HeroSuperCup #LetsFootball #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/NVHZgQItck
ATK coach Steve Coppell was happy with the win.
"We were trying to retain possession as much as possible, and then get into positions from where we could hurt them. The goals we scored, all three goals, the second in particular, was tremendous.
"We've been trying to experiment a little bit on corners. Real Kashmir are a big team, so it's not a great idea to put the balls inside the box all the time. The second goal was critical for us but the entire performance was all based on trying to control possession as much as possible. That was our strategy," he said.
Real Kashmir coach David Robertson said he was proud of his team's performance despite the loss.
"I think we competed well. I think in the first half we did well against them. We play a certain style of football based on the players we have. We haven't played for a number of weeks. It's been very difficult for the players. Its been a bit up and down. It was a great experience. ATK are a fantastic team. We've got to remember who we played against tonight. One of the big teams in Indian football," he said.