Balwant Singh has thanked ATK coach Steve Coppell for trusting his abilities after the striker took his team to the semi-finals of the ongoing Super Cup with a hat-trick against Delhi Dynamos FC. ATK defeated Delhi Dynamos FC by 4-3 goals in the second quarter-final game on Friday.
Balwant starred for the Kolkata-based club in their quarter-final tie against another ISL club – Delhi Dynamos. It was a thrilling game and on the back of Balwant’s performance on Friday, ATK managed to book a place in the semi-final of the AIFF knock-out tournament being played at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Although Delhi had taken an early lead in the match through Mohammed Sajid Dhot in the 15th minute, it was some good counter-attacking skills that helped the Kolkata club to dominate the proceedings with three back-to-back goals.
Balwant said after the match that he is happy for his performance although it came a bit late after the end of the ISL season. “It’s a good feeling but yes, it’s a bit late. But, I am happy with this. I always try to keep improving myself. I want to thank the coach (Steve Coppell) for trusting and believing in me,” Balwant said after the match, reported
“I couldn’t say what was going wrong but I was trying to improve. Something was missing but now I am scoring so I am pleased. I have been doing the same thing I have been doing in training before.”
Balwant has scored four goals in the tournament so far, in the two matches and the ATK coach also credited the striker explaining that he used to lead the forward line well during their training sessions. Apart from the three goals from Balwant, Manuel Lanzarote also found the back of the net for ATK.
“There was a spark in play today. Balwant has been leading the line well in training in the last couple of weeks and there is a real edge to his play. The competition gives him an opportunity to score goals and be alongside the top players. I hope we score goals as freely in the semifinals but get a bit tighter at the back,” the ATK coach said.
After finishing eighth in the Indian Super League, Delhi Dynamos didn’t get a win in the Super Cup as well. They got walkovers in the qualifying and the pre-quarterfinal round and were defeated by ATK last evening. Delhi failed to capitalize on some of the opportunities that they got during the match against ATK and were on the losing side despite going one goal up in the match.
“I think we played good football. We had more of the ball, crosses and shots, but in the end, we made some mistakes and they beat us. That’s what happened to us this season. This game, that’s the reality of the club at this moment. We need to work hard to be more competitive next season,” said Delhi coach Josep Gomabu.
“We had the chance to score 2-0 after the first goal. After that, we were in control of the game and changing from side-to-side. Then, we lost one ball in the middle and they made a transition to score the goal. We fought our way back into the game after they scored three in the first half but we couldn’t take our chances.”
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