Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic expressed his satisfaction with the result after his side played out a 1-1 draw with Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday.

In a match characterised by continuous back-and-forth action, both sides shared the spoils at the JRD Tata Sports Complex after an exhilarating 1-1 draw. The goals of the game came within the first half, with Dimitrios Diamanatakos netting for the Blasters, only for Javier Siverio to level the scores for Jamshedpur FC.

While a victory would have secured the Blasters a spot in the playoffs, they must now focus on their upcoming two matches to achieve that objective.

This marked the first instance in the current year that Kerala Blasters FC secured at least a point away from home, following three consecutive defeats on the road. With this draw against Jamshedpur FC, they currently hold the fifth position on the league table, maintaining an eight-point lead over Bengaluru FC in sixth place. Vukomanovic expressed satisfaction with the result in Jamshedpur and acknowledged the team's past struggles.

“On one side, I am satisfied, because it is a positive result. In the previous period, we had a couple of bad results. We lost a couple of games and we were since a long time ago at that kept us on the edge of qualifying for the playoffs. Again, not using excuses about players we are missing and many things that are going against us. I should be happy and everyone should be happy,” he said in the post-match press conference.

He added: “First game after the break, to play at a high level, it would be difficult till the end because we had the competition cut with the national team break. The players did their best today. They ran their socks off. For both teams as a coach, I must say congratulations. Of course (I have) mixed feelings. We had chances. We could have won the game. On the other hand, the opponent had chances as well, so we could have lost,” he added. 

The outcome of the match hung in the balance right up until the final whistle, with both teams displaying relentless determination. Opportunities to snatch victory arose for both sides during injury time, but crucial saves from the goalkeepers ensured that the match ended in a draw. Vukomanovic admitted to feeling nervous during the tense closing moments of the game but expressed satisfaction with the exciting spectacle witnessed by the spectators.

“As a coach, it doesn’t make you happy - the bad decision making. Especially in the last 10 minutes, there were situations where we absolutely had to do better. Then we were making these kinds of unbelievable mistakes where we were allowing the opponents to create chances from nothing. Actually, we could have had the game under control and score a goal. As a coach, it was not nice to stay on the side and watch all that because it makes you nervous. On the other hand for the fans, it was interesting because they can see chances,” he expressed.