Kerala Blasters FC can surprise you in many ways: Ivan Vukomanovic
Ivan Vukomanovic returned to the dugout after serving a 10-match ban
Kerala Blasters FC recorded a sensational comeback win in the Indian Super League (ISL) over Odisha FC by a 2-1 score line at the JLN Stadium in Kochi on Friday. The win was special for several reasons and one of them was the return of Ivan Vukomanovic in the dugout after serving a 10-match ban.
Two second-half goals by the Yellow Army secured three points and sent the fans into a frenzy at the final whistle. The tactician was extremely happy to see his squad fight for the points and turn things around after going down by an early goal courtesy of Diego Mauricio. He praised the spirit shown by his players and talked about the quick free-kick incident from the game too.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation between Ivan Vukamovic and the media representatives after the impressive win over Odisha FC in the ISL 2023-24:
Happy with the response from the team
Ivan Vukomanovic was visibly happy after the result. However, what particularly elated him was the way his team responded by going down by an early goal. He was of the opinion that the penalty save by Sachin Suresh gave his team the belief to make a comeback in the match.
While talking about how he felt after the win, the coach expressed delight and said, “Not only because of the victory but being back on the pitch with the boys, in front of the dugout and reacting to certain situations, trying to help the team the way we can as a coach. It feels amazing the way we responded and played in the second half.”
Proud of the young local talent
The tactician was full of praise for Aimen and Azhar, the brothers who featured for KBFC in the win against Odisha FC. Furthermore, he credited the local talent and expressed pride seeing their contribution to the club.
He said, “Kerala Blasters FC can surprise you in many ways. Not only with Mohammed Aimen or Mohammed Azhar but with all our young players especially the local community. This is the first year where we have so many players from our own ranks. It makes you feel proud when you see such type of things.”
The quick free-kick incident
Ivan Vukomanovic talked about the quick free-kick incident where Adrian Luna restarted the game quickly to catch OFC off-guard which led to the equaliser.
He compared it with the goal KBFC conceded against Bengaluru FC last season and said, “When you decide to play a free-kick in the first 2-3 seconds, that is a quick free kick. What happened in Bengaluru was that there was a shot after 29 seconds and there is a rule when you spray the position you have to wait for the signal… I am not saying that the referees are wrong but the league has to provide them a better environment, technology and conditions to improve.”