It doesn't matter who we face in the semi-finals: Kerala Blasters FC's Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC finished the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season in fourth place after an eventful 4-4 draw with FC Goa at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Sunday.
KBFC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has revealed that his side has some mental fatigue after the regular league season but now he is looking forward to their semi-final fixtures.
Jorge Diaz scored two goals within the first 25 minutes of the game, however, goals by Airam Cabrera and Aiban Dohling put FC Goa in a 4-2 lead. Two quickfire goals in the final few minutes of the game by Vincy Baretto and Alvaro Vazquez ended the game in a 4-4 draw.
Ivan Vukomanovic addressed the media after the game.
Here are some excerpts from his press conference:
Could you have predicted eight goals being scored?
I think that nobody could have predicted this kind of result today. But if you see the fact that today's game was not important for both teams, we came to play football, and everybody wanted to enjoy this game tonight. So, I think that whoever was here tonight, enjoyed the goals, they enjoyed the moments. We should say that we're happy with the result, all the teams now in this part of the season, even both teams today are physically and emotionally empty. And we just wanted this regular part of the season to end. Many teams already knew that they were out mathematically from the playoffs and were emotionally and physically empty. From our side, as well we were missing some key players today. But anyway, we have to deal with those things. And we have one more week to manage to play two games, and then we'll see what will happen further on but you know, it is an exhausting period, especially after the New Year's and with the Covid-19 outbreak, especially with the isolation, it was exhausting physically and mentally. We saw both teams emotionally empty and wanting to play football, but both of us were on the limits. So, now we will recover for the next game and see what will happen.
Are you unhappy that you allowed FC Goa to come back so easily or with the result?
Actually both. When you sit comfortably and try to manage your game, and then after one minute you concede that goal and then you have to go, you know, we had moments even after that to kill the game, but, the individual quality that we didn't have in that part did not allow us to get done with this game earlier. And then when you have an opponent against you with so many quality players in their team, they can create danger. So that was the case. In this kind of game, you can see everything and in this league, you can see the things that you can see nowhere. And then after that, then we go back to 4-4. So, actually whoever played tonight, they were enjoying the goals. So from the coaching side, these are some things that we have to correct to prepare for the next games. But now, whatever happened in the last 20 games, doesn't matter anymore. There are two new games. It will be an open fight against four teams who want to fight for a spot in the final so we'll probably prepare well for these two games.
We will learn your semi-final opponent on Monday. Which team do you want to face?
Doesn't matter, really doesn't matter. Because I think that if you want to go through to the final, you have to beat two teams. So it doesn't really matter. Because now facing any of those teams, It's about quality. It's about fighting. It's about small details that will make a difference. So it doesn't matter. Whoever comes we will do our best to prepare. We'll do the things that we want to show on the pitch and hope for the best.