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AIFF Super Cup

Super Cup 2019: Steve Coppell - Balwant Singh was superb

2:42 PM EDT 4/5/19
Steve Coppell ATK
Balwant Singh scored a hat-trick as ATK beat Delhi Dynamos 4-3...

Three goals were not enough for Delhi Dynamos to win the game against ATK on Friday in the 2019 Super Cup quarterfinal.

Balwant Singh scored a terrific hat-trick and Manuel Lanzarote added one more to his tally to ensure a 4-3 win and a place in the semi-final of the competition.

After the game, ATK boss Steve Coppell said, "Balwant was superb; it was really a good display of centre-forward play. The three goals were all different, he showed strength, pace and calm finishing. A really good performance at the spearhead of the team. The team looks up to the centre forwards and if he is doing well, it really lifts the players and he certainly did that today; he was outstanding.

"There has been a spark to our play, I must admit. Balwant has been leading the line so well through training the last couple of weeks. There has been a real edge to his play. He saw this competition as a way to score goals and to be a part of the top players in the competition and he has proved it tonight but as always with football, the next challenge is the biggest challenge. Whoever we play in the semifinal, we will look forward to it. Hope to score goals as freely and get a little bit tighter at the back."

While Balwant racked up three goals, Jayesh Rane picked up three assists and ATK performed well as a team to stop Delhi from getting back into the game in the second half.

"I am lucky with a number of players in the team with Hitesh (Sharma) and Komal (Thatal), Pronay (Halder) had really good energy in the second half today. We have got good energy but in these conditions, when you have got to sustain it, Delhi found it hard as well.

"It was human nature in the end where we conceded two goals; both of them being deflections, which was a little bit cruel. At 4-2 and at 3-1, we should have handled the game a little bit better and controlled proceedings."

Coppell said that he does not feel the need to play the foreigners in the Super Cup, unlike the ISL. "We had competition at centre forward. There is a tendency in the ISL to play your foreigners come what may. We did not really work on anything as such, we just wanted to make a mark in this competition.

"If we had beaten Mumbai City to the playoffs, everybody's perception of our season would have been different. That loss against Mumbai (22 February 2019), we had a lot of injuries, would like to play that game again with a stronger side because I think we would have won that match, but that is in the past. Now, we have the semifinal on Wednesday look forward to."

ATK will face the winner of the game between Chennaiyin and NorthEast United in the semi-final.