Dimitrios Diamantakos’s ninth-minute strike secured Kerala Blasters FC's first win against Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the Indian Super League (ISL), as the Yellow Army defeated the Mariners by a 1-0 scoreline in Kolkata to earn their spot at the top of the table.

Diamantakos could have scored the opening goal in the very fourth minute when his powerful strike was denied by the crossbar, but the Greek striker was absolutely at his very best to dribble past two of Mohun Bagan SG’s defenders to find the back of the net with his precise left-footed strike few minutes later. With his goal against the Mariners, Diamantakos is now leading the top goalscorers' list with seven goals in 10 matches in the ISL this season.

Diamantakos, who is leading the Blasters in the absence of Adrian Luna, shared his thoughts after securing a win against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Diamantakos was delighted to continue their winning momentum to end the year on a positive note.

“We are really happy because we are in really good momentum. We want to finish this year with a win, and we came to win the game, and obviously, we played well and we won,” he told indiansuperleague.com.

Despite suffering many injuries since the start of the season, the Yellow Army have maintained their good dynamic to secure their position in the points table. The Green forward credited the depth of their squad for the consistent performances.

“There will always be injuries. These players (who are coming to replace the injured players) need to help us,” he stated.

“We need to play with that because all the time we have injuries. Also, with these injuries, we are playing well and winning games. Of course, we are missing good players, but we'll do everything to win the games,” he added.

Diamantakos had words of praise while speaking about their young players like Sachin Suresh, Mohammed Aimen, and Nihal Sudeesh. Speaking in context, he said:

“These young guys from our academy are proving every time that they are quality players. They have more things to do, but they are really good players.”

He commented that it would be difficult to replace Luna, who is out after undergoing arthroscopic surgery earlier this month. But he remains optimistic that by playing as a team, they can try to cover up for his absence.

“Of course, it will create problems because he's (Adrian Luna) one of the most important players for us. We, all together, will try to play for him, and this win is also for him,” he signed off.

We are going through a tough phase: Subhasish Bose

 

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have lost three consecutive matches for the first time in the ISL since their inception. The Mariners started the league on a very positive note, as they remained unbeaten in the opening seven matches. But after suffering back-to-back defeats, the situation has totally changed, as they need to get back to winning days to revive their form.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s captain, Bose, also asserted that his team is going through a tough phase with injuries and suspensions. 

“We are going through a tough phase and facing so many difficulties due to injuries and suspensions. I believe we can come back like we started the season, with a fresh start after this short break and rectifying our mistakes,” he stated.

“We have lost 7-8 players from our starting line-up. The players who are coming to replace them need time to adapt to the team. Unfortunately, we conceded an early goal. We played quite well today, creating many chances to score but failing to capitalize on our chances. We need to be more focused and more compact, both offensively and defensively,” he added.

Bose figured out that they should bounce back as a team to overcome their recent downfall. 

“We want to give our best against all the opponents. Sometimes we face downfall, but we need to bounce back as a team,” he said.

“Our squad has a strong character with many senior players, so hopefully we’ll come back. Our supporters want us to win every single game, but at the same time, it’s frustrating to accept three back-to-back losses. We’ll certainly rectify our mistakes during this break to bounce back from this situation,” he concluded.