The two late goals helped ATK to beat a resilient debutants Real Kashmir FC side 3-1 in the Super Cup 2019 pre-quarterfinals played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
Witn the win ATK booked place in quarter-final clash against Delhi Dynamos FC on April 5.
ATK started the match well but Real Kashmir were equally good. Though ATK midfield dominating the proceedings early on, but Real Kashmir made sure they gave the Kolkata-based side a stern reminder of the danger they pose in the eighth minute. Completely against the run of play, Mason Robertson showed his own passing prowess, setting up Koffi Tetteh with room to run in behind the advanced ATK defence. With just Debjit Majumdar in the ATK goal to beat, the striker scuffed his shot wide.
However, it was ATK who broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Real Kashmir defender Aaron Katebe was caught ball watching at the far post, as Balwant Singh out jumped him to bury his header inside the goal past a helpless Bilal Husain Khan.
It took Real Kashmir just 5 minutes to hit back. Abhash Thapa carried the ball forward with intent and fed Mason Robertson on the edge of the ATK box. The Scotsman took a touch to set himself up and fired in a precise low shot to beat Debjit at full stretch. At half time score was 1-1.
The second-half was a cagey affair with both teams trying their best to seize the initiative but failed to create any big chances in a match primarily dominated by two very well-drilled defences.
Lanzarote, who, time and again, has delivered for his team when they needed him the most. A corner kick routine straight off the training ground saw Edu pick out Lanzarote on the edge of the box. The Spaniard hit it first-time and placed the ball perfectly past Bilal to make it 2-1 on the 79th minute.
The goal prompted a change from ATK, with Everton Santos coming on for the provider of the second goal, Edu. The Brazilian substitute took just seconds to register his name on the scoresheet. Taking advantage of a mistimed header by Katebe, Santos controlled the ball just outside the 16-yard box and beat Bilal with a low shot to make it 3-1 in favour of the ISL side.
Real Kashmir threw everything at the opposition in an effort to find a way back into the match, but a disciplined display in the final minutes by ATK was enough to see off the Snow Leopards’ cavalry charge. (With inputs from Agencies)