ATK overcomes Dynamos’ challenge
Balwant Singh scored a hat-trick to take ATK past a fighting Delhi Dynamos 4-3 in an absorbing Hero Super Cup quarterfinal at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday. Captain Manuel Lanzarote was the other goal-getter for ATK while Mohammad Sajid, Daniel Lalhlimpuia and S. Nadhakumar found the goals for Dynamos.
Delhi opened the scoring when Mohammad Sajid nodded home a curling free-kick from Adria Carmona in the 15th minute. The goal saw ATK come out of its defensive mould and explore the flanks regularly. Balwant and captain Lanzarote joined forces in the 23rd minute as the former latched on to a through-pass and went on a 35-yard run before pushing the ball past Dynamos goalkeeper Albino Gomes.
Lanzarote created and finished the second one for ATK after releasing Jayesh Rane on the right. The winger relayed the ball back to Lanzarote inside the Dynamos box and the Spanish playmaker swerved the ball home as ATK went ahead in the 27th minute.
With the Dynamos defence looking shaky after conceding two quick goals, ATK pushed for more. In the 33rd minute, Balwant found the target a second time with a powerful shot after Rane had set him up in the zone.
Dynamos pulled one back when Daniel Lalhlimpuia capitalised on an error from ATK defender John Johnson who failed to clear a cross from Lallianzuala Chhangte.
Keeping it going
After the change of ends, the Kolkata side sustained the momentum and regained the two-goal cushion as Balwant completed a hat-trick in the 51st minute. Rane provided the assist once again, setting up Balwant with a cross.
Dynamos briefly came back in the game when S. Nadhakumar’s attempt found the target off a deflection from ATK defender Andre Bike. However, that proved to be the final strike of the day.
The result (quarterfinal): ATK 4 (Balwant Singh 23, 33, 51, Manuel Lanzarote 27) bt Delhi Dynamos 3 (Mohammad Sajid 15, Daniel Lalhlimpuia 35, S. Nadhakumar 72).
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