The first 25 minutes made the difference: Kerala Blasters FC's Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic expressed that the first 25 minutes of the game hurt the team as Mumbai City FC scored four goals past the Yellow Army in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, on Sunday.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz opened the scoring in the fourth minute only for Greg Stewart and Bipin Singh to add their names to the scoresheet. Jorge Pereyra Diaz bagged the second goal in the 22nd minute, helping Mumbai City FC take a four-goal lead at the break. A goalless draw was played in the second half with Mumbai City FC keeping the fifth clean sheet of the season.
Des Buckingham's men continued their winning streak, bagging their 10th win of the season and reclaimed their top spot on the Hero ISL points table. Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC suffered their first defeat after eight matches. The Blasters continued to stay third in the Hero ISL table.
The match was highly anticipated as both teams were on unbeaten streaks. Vukomanovic shed light on the match, explaining it needed 25 minutes for his team to get into the match and that left him disappointed as Mumbai City FC kept the pressure on the visitors.
"Well, the first 25 minutes (made the difference). As a team, when you face the best team in the league, you must know that it starts from the first (whistle). Tonight for us as a team, which makes me angry and disappointed is that it took us only 25 minutes to get into the game, you know? And when you face this kind of (match), you must not afford it. It's unacceptable," Vukomanovic said at the post-match conference.
"We knew that it would be a tough game. Our opponents have individual qualities and you have to deal with certain patterns, how to win duels and many other things in these kind of games. And it was disappointing. For the first 25 minutes, we were not to be seen," he added.
Mumbai City FC continues to lead the goalscoring charts thanks to an unstoppable attack. The Islanders have scored 40 goals in 13 matches with 3.1 goals per match. Vukomanovic mentioned how Mumbai City FC is on the top of the table due to their quality and admitted that his side deserved to lose tonight.
"We conceded the fourth goal, after individual mistakes, wrong movements. When you play against top teams, these small details make a difference. This is how it is, especially, when you play against a team at the top of the table. So Mumbai City FC showed so far that they are the best in the league with reason," he said.
In the second half, Kerala Blasters FC came up with renewed energy and fought for every second ball and was solid in the back. The Blasters also made changes in their line up and it yielded some results as they did not concede in the second half. The KBFC head coach explained the reason behind the difference in the second half.
"At half-time with our team talk, we just wanted to get back in the game, I was saying, listen, guys, just forget the results, let's go outside, play the game, we want to play, the things we want to show, and I don't want to lose second half, so I want to see the character because in football, in this kind of games, talent, it doesn't matter a lot. It means character and mentality. Mumbai City FC showed tonight that they have quality players who can solve the situation with individual qualities. So that was the case tonight. It was our side that deserved the loss," Vukomanovic said.
Kerala Blasters FC face FC Goa in their next team and the club head into the game with a long break of 14 days after an intense period of back-to-back matches. Vukomanovic mentioned the team need this break to refresh and regroup for a tough period at the business end of the season.
"Now, we have 14 days until the next game, to refresh a little bit with a couple of days to sleep over to take a rest and then, prepare for a next games, it will be a tough one, right? It will be a tough period for us," he concluded.