ISL 2023-24: Ivan Vukomanovic delighted as Kerala Blasters return to winning ways
Ivan Vukomanovic, the head coach of Kerala Blasters FC, is overjoyed as his team stages a remarkable return to form in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a hard-fought victory against Odisha FC.
Kerala Blasters FC's head coach, Ivan Vukomanovic, expressed his joy as the team made a triumphant comeback in the Indian Super League (ISL), securing a hard-fought victory against Odisha FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The match initially saw Odisha FC take the lead in the first half, surprising the home crowd. However, Kerala Blasters FC displayed resilience in the second half, with Dimitri Diamantakos equalising and Adrian Luna scoring a late winner, preserving their unbeaten home record for the season. Vukomanovic, who returned to the coaching role after a suspension, shared his delight at being back with the team and being able to contribute to their success.
In a post-match press conference, Vukomanovic expressed, "It feels amazing. Not only because of the victory, but the fact of being back on the pitch with the boys, with the team. Being back in the dugout. Being capable of reacting to certain situations and trying to help the team the way we can as a coach because sometimes in this kind of environment and games, there is not much that you can do. Especially when the boys are in a good rhythm."
Vukomanovic commended his team's comeback performance in the second half and singled out goalkeeper Sachin Suresh for saving a crucial penalty taken by Mauricio, which played a vital role in keeping the team in the game.
The victory marked the second consecutive home game in which Kerala Blasters FC came from behind to secure a positive result, emphasizing their resilience and determination. Vukomanovic was aware of Odisha FC's less-than-ideal physical condition, having played an AFC Cup game just three days prior. He aimed to capitalize on their fatigue in the second half and shared insights on the team's halftime adjustments to exploit Odisha FC's vulnerabilities.
Vukomanovic acknowledged Odisha FC's strengths but ultimately expressed his satisfaction with Kerala Blasters FC's return to the winning column, stating, "But from our side, it feels good to be back with a victory."