- ATK finished 9th in ISL season 4, while Chennai City finished 8th in I-League in season 2017-2018.
- ATK became only the 2nd ISL team to qualify after 4 qualifiers with a win against Chennai City by the scoreline 4-1.
- Robbie Keane who apart from being ATK’s striker, is also the clubs care-taker manager right now.
- Robbie Keane scored the 4th goal in the 4-1 rout of Chennai City.
- The Pre-Quarter stage of Hero Super Cup 2018 will start from 31st March (Saturday) with Chennaiyin FC taking on Aizwal FC.
Hero Super Cup 2018 is the latest addition to Indian football season. Based on the Federation Cup, Hero Super Cup 2018 is knock-out tournament that involves all the 10 teams from I-League and ISL. ATK who finished 9th in the league stage of the tournament they have won twice had to go through a qualifier in order to reach the pre-quarter stage of the Hero Super Cup 2018. ATK took on I-League strugglers Chennai City in the final and 4th qualifier.
ATK had probably a better performance than what they have had in ISL all season. The Kolkata outfit secured a classy 4-1 win after being pulled back by Chennai City player Jean Michael Joachim’s goal at the stroke of half-time. For ATK the goal-scorers were Hitesh Sharma, Zequinha, Ashutosh Mehta and Robbie Keane. The Pre-Quarter stage of the Hero Super Cup 2018 will start from 31st March (Saturday), when 2018 ISL champions Chennaiyin FC take on Aizwal FC.
Robbie Keane, who is currently the caretaker manager of ATK and their striker spoke to the media in the post-match press conference. He said, “The team played really well and we dominated the game for most of the first half. But a slight blip in our concentration and they made full use of it and score the goal before halftime. Sometimes a goal just before the halftime can be really heartbreaking, but I spoke to the players and we regrouped and did well in the second half. There was a spell in the second half where we got a little sloppy in possession, but we tried to do the right thing, keep the shape and keep moving the ball. And thankfully we got the four goals.”
Being the man in charge at the club brings with it more responsibilities. Robbie Keane was asked what he said in the ATK dressing during the half-time break. He elaborated,“We were disappointed. The last thing you want to do is to concede a goal just before halftime. Usually, the team tends to go down and lose the morale. I had to remind them that it was just 1-1 and we had dominated the game till then. And that’s what we did. We played well and scored a few goals. It was good.”
ATK had a horrible season in the Indian Super League and had to change their manager two times mid-season before they finally arrived at Robbie Keane. Speaking about his own struggles and pressure after taking over the job, Robbie Keane said, “I am asked to do a job. I am not afraid of challenges, I have never been as a player. So, when the club needed someone to step in, I did. I don’t like losing. So, whether I am a player or a manager the mentality is to win. I am just happy with the performance.”
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