Antonio Habas: We kept faith in our football and that was important

ATK FC engineered a thrilling comeback to beat Bengaluru FC 3-1 in the second leg of their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-final clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday. The result helped them overturn the 1-0 first-leg defeat at the Sree Kanteerava from last week and sealed their spot in the final against Chennaiyin FC on March 14.

At the post-match press conference, ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas illustrated the range of emotions he powered through over the course of the tie and said, “I was tired, absolutely tired. We made the worst possible start we could have and went behind within the first five minutes. But we turned things around. We believed in our football. For us, football is an opportunity to win. I think, overall, we were better than Bengaluru in the match.”

“The most important thing was to keep believing. Bengaluru are a strong team, a very dangerous team. They are capable of scoring at any moment. They have fantastic players. Fortunately, we were the better of the two teams,” he added.

With the score reading 1-1 at half-time, ATK came out and scored two unanswered goals in the second 45 minutes to turn the tide in their favour. Asked about his half-time team talk, the Spaniard noted, “We tweaked some positions, changed the system at half-time. We played well and changed the story of the match. I told the players to keep believing, keep trusting themselves. It was the most important thing.”

David Williams scored the two second half goals for ATK while full back Prabir Das played a pivotal role, providing the assists for ATK’s first and final goal of the match. Praising the duo, Habas stated, “They played at a very high level today. The whole team did well. David and Prabir were the two protagonists for us. David scored two goals and Prabir played really well. I think the way Prabir set up the first goal was crucial. It was a difficult goal and a very important one.”

Read the Match Report here.

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