Super Cup 2019: ATK vs Real Kashmir FC - 5 Talking Points as Manuel Lanzarote hunts down the Snow Leopards
Steve Coppell's men left it late to unleash their attacking prowess as they emerged comfortable winners in the end, despite the game proving to be cagey and scrappy right from the get-go.
Balwant Singh opened the scoring for the ISL giants in the 26th minute when he found the back of the net with a header following a searching cross from Manuel Lanzarote.
However, the lead lasted for just five minutes as Mason Robertson restored parity for the Snow Leopards with a sublime finish to the bottom right corner from just outside the penalty area.
Both teams headed into the half-time interval level pegging, after resorting to being cagey in the middle of the park and not allowing their opponents the slightest of chances to punish them.
ATK were rejuvenated after the break and continued to dominate the lion's share of possession in their efforts to try and restored their lead over David Robertson's side.
Their persistent efforts to try and unlock the Real Kashmir defence finally paid off in the 79th minute through Lanzarote, who scored with a spectacular volley from outside the box, after Edu Garcia had pinged him the ball from a corner-kick routine.
The two-time ISL champions put the result beyond any doubt when second-half substitute Everton Santos came off the bench and scored with his first touch of the game in the 83rd minute to cap off their brilliant display.
ATK will now face Delhi Dynamos FC in the quarter-final of the Hero Super Cup and without further delay, let's take a closer look at all the major talking points from the round of 16 clash between the Kolkata giants and Real Kashmir:
#1 Individual errors and technical brilliance sink Real Kashmir
It was always going to be a mammoth task for Real Kashmir FC to pull off a win over ATK considering the gulf in class between both sides on paper.
And although football matches are never won on paper, you would still think David Robertson's men knew the magnitude of the task they had in their hands at the Kalinga Stadium on Monday.
There were no favours whatsoever for Real Kashmir and even lesser margin for error as David eventually succumbed to the Goliath in ATK, who were far more superior technically as well as mentally on the night.
The I-League debutants were undone by two individual errors from Aaron Katebe that came either side of a moment of spectacular technical brilliance from Manuel Lanzarote.
Katebe failed to deal with Lanzarote's cross and subsequently allowed Balwant Singh to outfox him in the buildup to the opening goal, while it was another error in judgement from the defender that helped Everton Santos score with his first touch after coming off the bench.
Real Kashmir FC wore their heart on their sleeves, but they were served a timely reminder by ATK, who proved the best teams make a meal out of even the half-chances that pop up on their radar, at the end of proceedings on the night.