We should score in the chances we get: Kerala Blasters FC's Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic was disappointed with his team's loss as the Yellow Army lost against East Bengal FC with a solitary goal in the latest fixture of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.
The match turned out to be a thrilling one, with ample chances for both teams, but it was Cleiton Silva of East Bengal FC who scored in the 77th minute of the match to earn three points for the home team. However, East Bengal FC ended the match with 10 players as Mobashir Rahman picked up his second yellow card in stoppage time.
Kerala Blasters FC have now faced three defeats in their last four games. They are still in third in the Hero ISL standings, but one point above fourth-placed ATK Mohun Bagan, who have a game in hand. On the other hand, East Bengal FC registered their first ever victory against the Blasters in the Hero ISL. With their second victory at home this season, East Bengal FC remain in the ninth position.
Full time.#EBFCKBFC #ഒന്നായിപോരാടാം #KBFC #KeralaBlasters pic.twitter.com/2fqVgiCYDp— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) February 3, 2023
Vukomanovic shed light on how the fixture was filled with high-temper moments and highlighted how his team need to be clincial with the chances they get.
"When you face these kinds of teams you must match. You must match the duels, you must match the fight, you must match the character, you must match the mentality. We created some chances. We had some moments because we knew before the game that the game would be really ugly with many duels, fights, or contacts. We should score in the chances we get because in these games you don't get many. Our opponent scored one goal and they won the game. So that's it, we congratulate them and continue," Vukomanovic said in the official post-match press conference.
In the reverse fixture, which was the opening match of the season, the Blasters came out winners 3-1 with Ivan Kalyuzhnyi scoring a brace. The midfielder has been a key player for the Blasters this season, contributing four goals and an assist across 14 games. Vukomanovic revealed the Ukrainian midfielder couldn't be part of the match due to illness.
"It's been 15 days, day by day. We always have two or three people in our group with a high fever. He (Ivan Kalyuzhnyi) got a high fever and he couldn't play so he stayed on the bench and that's why our goalkeeper(Prabhsukhan) Gill was not with us," Vukomanovic stated.
He added: "Both teams are different compared to that first game. It was the opening game and a different mindset, different energy, different enthusiasm, full stadium, you know playing in Kochi, the first opening night and it's like 50,000 people. Tonight everything was different, the atmosphere, the mindset and everything."
The Yellow Army went on an unbeaten streak of eight matches but have now lost three out of the last four. Vukomanovic emphasised on the importance of preparing game by game, and how they want to be a team who participates in the playoffs for a long term.
"This kind of league, you just look game by game and later if we are in the playoffs, it's okay. Then, as a club, we reach the objective. We're actually a team, who in the long term always wants to participate in the playoffs. We're going to fight for that. We have four games now. We'll try to prepare the best we can for them," Vukomanovic said.