ATK’s three match unbeaten run was brought to an end by BFC as they sank the home team with a lucky comeback of 2-1. ATK took the lead at the fifteenth minute when the U-17 world cupper teen Komal Thatal scored a brilliant goal with a free run beating Gurpreet Sing Sandhu. “We started the game with a certain game plan in our mind and it worked well initially as Komal scored a terrific goal within the first quarter. But Kalu’s Injury turned to be a big loss for us as he is the focal point of our attacking play, a target man for us. When he went down we were a bit surprised then we realized it to be a genuine blow as he has damaged his quadriceps that plays a big role in football”.
It turned more inferior to the home side when the Bengaluru star striker Miku was awarded with a much debatable foul just near the edge of the penalty box. The Venezuelan did no mistake to turn it into a terrific shot as the ATK gaffer said, “When you grant a chance to such a quality striker like Miku at the edge of the box it definitely turns to be a good goal and I think it was a silly fowl given”. This goal turned Miku the highest away goal scorer in the history of Indian Super League and the “turning point” in the game.
Just at the beginning of the second half Erik Pratulu added his name in the score sheet when the Australian scored from a header at the forty seventh minute the last man in the wall Lanza allowed with a vague turn. “It was a real disappointment as we lacked in our organization. After the second goal the team worked hard showed a great spirit, effort and ability. Even we created a couple of chances in the opposition’s box, as at some point of the match I thought we deserve something from this match”, said Steve Coppel when asked about his take on ATK’s performance in the second half.
Out of this unlucky loss ATK got some bliss in Komal as the U-17 World Cup star is turning to be a guy with “commitment and skill”. The gaffer was found overwhelmed with this teens performance as he told if he continue “scoring goals” along with “hard work” he is definitely going to be a “great player” as he keeps patience for getting chances.
Copell termed the next game very “vital as it will taste our momentum, if we win it then we are in right way but if it turns to a loss it surely will leave us with a lot of work to do. We will push ourselves in this gap to do better.”
We asked whether the refree’s decision seemed a bit harsh for his team specifically in this game and the british man replied, “I will not comment on the refree personally but what we want is quality. A tackle receives yellow and the same tackle mirrored by the other team should see a yellow. In previous matches we have been booked several times but the opposition had been none”.
ATK as a team showed a better piece of game than the other games of this season with parity in defense, midfield and offence but there was a void of positive striker to turn the chances into goal and it cost them badly at home. They went down to the “unity and quality” showed by the Bengaluru players. This loss evokes many questions on the future of the two time champions in the current season of the Indian Super League as they continue to be in the mid of the table lacking any clean sheets. The gaffer signed off as he told “We need to have clean sheets, we need to win with clean sheets”.