Carles Cuadrat: Penalty changed the tide of the match in ATK’s favour

Bengaluru FC's bid to retain the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) title came to a heartbreaking end after suffering a 3-1 loss to ATK FC in the second leg of their Hero ISL 2019-20 semi-final clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday. The Blues went into the tie with a 1-0 first leg advantage to protect, but couldn't see it through as they were bested 3-2 on aggregate by a resolute ATK team.

At the post-match press conference, Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat congratulated ATK for the result and said, “Congratulations to ATK! It was one of those games that helps the growth of Indian football. There were a lot of emotions, there were a lot of things happening. Sometimes it happened in favour of us. We won at the Kanteerava. But unfortunately for us, tonight, it was the ATK supporters’ turn to enjoy a great night.”

Coming to his assessment of the fixture, the Spaniard stated, “Maybe it was not one of the top-quality games, but there were a lot of things happening. It was very tactical. It was our plan to try to get past their defenders with Ashique (Kuruniyan), with Sunil (Chhetri). It was working and the plan was helping. Ashique scored the first goal.”

“We were close to scoring the second goal. We had really clear chances. At that moment of the game, we had more clear chances than ATK. But, sometimes one little thing changes the game. The penalty changed the moment for ATK,” felt Cuadrat.

Finally, Cuadrat glanced back at the season gone by and noted, “We lost a number nine and a number ten, Miku and Xisco (Hernandez). We replaced Xisco with Raphael (Augusto), but unfortunately, he could only play nine games with us. And we replaced Miku with Manu (Manuel Onwu), but unfortunately, he only played six games with us. It’s football. But it shows just how good our team is and how good a work we’ve done. We had to work with a Plan B for more than half of the season because we couldn’t use our Plan A. But even with Plan B, we reached the semi-finals and were only one goal away from the final. My players are excellent.”

Read the Match Report here.

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