Kerala Blasters, the season favorites has suffered yet another final loss in the ISL 2021-22 finals. The match that took place at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa witnessed the most nerve-racking 120 minutes ever. Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has insisted that despite the loss, this season would be revolutionizing Blaster’s success. However, he emphasized the referee’s decisions going against his players yesterday night.
The yellow army (Blasters fans) witnessed the horror in the penalty shootouts, in the ISL 2021-22 finals. Ivan expressed his disappointment in refereeing at the match.
ISL 2021-22 finals – Match overview
Kerala Blasters dominated the first half of the match and held possession for most of the time that peaked with an opening goal by Rahul KP. However, Hyderabad FC with the habit of scoring goals past 75th minutes, repeated their ritual by the goal in the 88th minute by Sahil Tavora.
In the 84th minute, Blasters almost saw a victory when Nishu Kumar went down at the edge of the penalty box. Unfortunately, neither was a penalty given nor was the player involved booked, which fumed the Kerala camp, including the head coach.
Ivan said that they have been practicing penalties in the last couple of days. Leskovic seemed to be the one who scored old penalties. Ironically, he took the first shot and it went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.
Ivan Vukomanovic’s statement on the ISL 2021-22 finals
Ivan stated that there are things we can control like the training process, playing style, how to attack, and how to defend. Then there are certain things which are out of their control, like refereeing.
He believes that they were at the wrong end of several rough decisions made by the referees this season.
It is never nice when your team loses on penalties, Ivan added. He thinks that they were low on luck and bad shooting resulted in the missed penalties.
Ivan’s shootout strategies were interesting as he subbed off two starting strikers, Alvaro Vazquez (90+22) and Jose Pereyra Diaz (91). Marko Leskovic took the first spot-kick in the shootout missing the first of 3 missed penalties.
Though KBFC’s season ended on a disappointing note, the head coach expressed his happiness with the passion and progress his side showed this season. They made it into the final after six years and said that this will be a foundation for better things to come.