We deserved the victory: Kerala Blasters FC’s Ivan Vukomanovic

Kerala Blasters FC enjoyed an emphatic 3-1 victory over Mumbai City FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium. This result means that the Kochi-based team needs only one point from their last game of the season to ensure that they qualify for the semi-finals in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).

Head Coach Ivan Vukomanovic was delighted with his team and especially with their first-half performance in which they scored two goals.

Sahal Samad and Alvaro Vazquez scored two goals from KBFC in the first half. Vazquez scored his second of the game in the 60th minute and sealed the victory for his side. Diego Mauricio scored a consolation goal for the Islanders at the 70th-minute mark.

Match Report: Kerala Blasters FC ease past Mumbai City FC to take a giant step towards semi-finals

Ivan Vukomanovic addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

Did the team come good just when it matters the most?

Yeah, this is a good point for good teams to perform when you need to, you need to be on top to perform well and to show the strong points. We knew that we would be playing against a very good team with many great individual quality players. We knew from the very beginning that if we went out and tried to play with the high pressure and tried to press them all the time we could create something actually because in our previous games we wanted to perform and wanted to show the things that he would like to explore on the pitch. And actually today, it was the case that we wanted to play high. With high pressure, we wanted to press them high to try to score goals and it happened in the first half, I think that we were in that moment the better side. The second half, it was a little bit more difficult, because we knew that they would change the formation and then we wanted to organize defensively so, close down the channels, not to allow them to get a lot between our lines and then try to hit them back with maybe faster breaks. Then the third goal we got was kind of present. But in the end, I think that we deserved it. Anyway, I think that Mumbai City FC has a great coach, they have a great vision, they have a great group of players. It's always tough to play against them.

Sahal Samad is one of the most talked-about players in Indian football. Is he someone who handles the big occasions well?

Yeah, but Sahal is one of the players who has a good big progression as a football player. These kinds of things you have to unlock in one part of your career. These boys when they are growing up, when they are becoming better they start showing themselves on the pitch and they start showing the quality and I am very happy for him scoring five goals already this season. He can improve even more. I think that if we continue working together, he can probably be even better. So not only him, we have a young squad, one of the youngest squads in the Hero ISL . Many of those boys have never played the Hero ISL. They're experiencing that for the first time this year. I'm very happy for all of them. They are improving a lot. They've been doing a great job since we started and it's a long time ago already. It makes you feel good as a coach. And hopefully now with the last game, we will try to end the season with beauty and to have a great ending, and then we'll see if we are in the playoffs or not. But hopefully, the fans will enjoy it.

You just need one point to secure a semi-final spot. How important is it to not get overconfident?

We mentioned many times that we as a team are coming from far away with the last five years of disappointment and many things that have happened even this season. We are the team with a full building up process with a young team and we cannot calculate now and say we need only one point. Nobody gave us anything this season, we had to fight for every point and the last game will be the same. So, we will have to fight for 90-95 minutes for these points to achieve the things we want and hopefully, that will be there. So, we will see. We have to wait till Sunday and then we'll hope for the best.

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