After Delhi Dynamos went down fighting 3-4 against ATK in the quarterfinals of the Super Cup in Bhubaneswar on Friday, its coach Josep Gombau lamented his side’s failure to seize opportunities which contributed to the team’s downfall this season.
“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 Gomabu, whose team finished eighth in the Indian Super League.
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Dynamos took an early lead before ATK struck back thrice in the space of 11 first-half minutes with brisk counter-attacks.
“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,” said Gombau.
Gombau defended his team’s attacking approach which yielded just four wins in 19 matches over the course of the season. “If we had gone 2-0 up then the game is over. This is how we play and we play a lot of attacking players but we didn’t score the goals. We play well and in the end, the opposition with fewer chances beat us. It’s a good reflection of our season; that’s what I told my players after the game," the Spaniard said.
Balwant, now, has four goals in the Super Cup after having managed to find the back of the net just once in the ISL season. He is happy to have found his goal-scoring touch despite it coming only in the fag end of the 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,” the 32-year-old said.
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He added, “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.”
Speaking about the game, ATK coach Steve Coppell said, “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.”
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