Kerala Blasters had gone 2-0 up in the first half.
Kerala Blasters drew with FC Goa 4-4 in an entertaining fixture of the Indian Super League. The two teams played their final league game of the season and the penultimate league game of the league phase of the ISL. Ivan Vukomanovic and his men have already secured a place in the playoffs, whereas FC Goa finished the season as the ninth team in the league.
Ivan Vukomanovic met with the media to discuss the goal-fest.
Thought on the game
The Gaurs and the Blasters played one of the most entertaining games of the season. With nothing to lose, Goa and Kerala played a very aggressive brand of football that saw the ball in the attacking third of the two teams a lot. Ivan Vukomanovic wanted his team and the fans to enjoy the occasion.
The Kerala Blasters head coach explained, “I think nobody could have predicted this kind of result. If you see, the fact is that the game was not important for both teams, we came to play football and everybody wanted to enjoy. So, everyone present enjoyed the goals, the moments and the different details of the game. In the end, we should say that everybody is happy with this kind of result.
“Both the teams today were emotionally empty. We were just waiting for this to finish and go further on. We were missing some key players and they were missing some key players. Everyone has to go through these things, and we now have one more week to manage to play two games and then we see what happens further on,” the 44-year-old added.
The defensive vulnerabilities
Kerala took a healthy lead early in the second half. However, the Gaurs caught the Blasters’ defence off guard a lot of times. The defenders gave away the ball far too easily and the forwards missed a couple of easy chances of finishing the game in the first half.
“When you have a lead of 2-0, try to sit comfortably and manage your game, and after one minute you get that goal. We had moments even after that to kill the game, but we didn’t have the individual quality or many other details that didn’t allow us to get done with this game earlier. When you have an opponent against you with so many qualities in their team and they can create danger, it was the case. From the coaching side, it is something that you have to correct,” the Serbian manager quipped.
Opposition in playoffs
Kerala finished the league stage as the fourth-best team. Whoever tops the league table after the game between Jamshedpur FC and ATK Mohun Bagan will be Kerala’s opponents in the semi-finals. But, the head coach knows that to play the finals and win the competition they will have to beat two teams. So, the opponent doesn’t matter, as they will prepare the same way for all the three teams.
“It doesn’t really matter. Because I think that if you want to go through that and if you want to play the final, we have to beat two teams. Whoever comes, we will do our best to prepare and we will do all the things that we want to show on the pitch and hope for the best,” Ivan Vukomanovic expressed.
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