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ISL final 2022: Kerala Blasters go down with their heads held high | Football News

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Kerala Blasters could have gone down within the ISL final in opposition to Hyderabad FC however there isn’t any doubt that Ivan Vukomanovic‘s facet have gained the hearts of soccer followers of Kerala.
The begin of the 2021-22 season didn’t make for good studying for Kerala Blasters. Hoping to placed on an excellent present after years of obscurity, Blasters had been as a substitute blown away by ATK Mohun Bagan in a 2-4 defeat within the curtain-raiser and the expectations got here crashing down swiftly.
But that debacle proved to be the nudge that Vukomanovic and his gamers wanted. The group went on a 10-match unbeaten run – starting on November 25 with their second outing and going previous the New Year into January – that set the tone for their spectacular season.

That streak included crushing 3-0 victories in opposition to final season’s champions Mumbai City and Chennaiyin FC in addition to a 1-0 defeat of their final opponents Hyderabad FC that propelled them to the highest of the ISL desk for the very first time because the inaugural 2014 season.
Their attacking trio of Adrian Luna, Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Pereyra Diaz performed a key position in blasting Vukomanovic’s facet to the summit. While Diaz turned blood into sweat on the sphere, Vazquez managed to show even half-chances into targets. Luna, in the meantime, was there to supply them with high quality provide and rating just a few himself.
Kerala’s very personal Sahal Abdul Samad additionally stepped up across the imports whereas the younger midfield duo of Jeakson Singh and Puitea supplied stable cowl for the defence that was headlined by the skilled Marko Leskovic, but additionally featured 21-year-old Hormipam Ruivah and confirmed winner Harmanjot Khabra.
There had been accidents alongside the way in which. Blasters missed captain Jessel Carneiro, first-choice goalkeeper Albino Gomes and Nishu Kumar for prolonged intervals, however stand-ins like Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Sandeep Singh and Ayush Adhikari took their probabilities and excelled.
“They were looking like the team to beat in January. But that Covid-19 outbreak cast serious doubts over their season,” stated Indian soccer legend IM Vijayan. The pandemic restricted the whole Blasters squad to their lodge rooms for greater than two weeks.
Blasters’ profitable run ended on their return from isolation. “That is when Vukomanovic proved he is more than just a coach. He stood up for the players and rallied the troops. They never gave up and came out of the hiccup as a stronger team,” stated Vijayan.
That second wind took Blasters into the play-offs. However, there’s a feeling that Blasters are solely getting began. They have stars who could make a distinction, children who’ve a big room for enchancment and a system in place to dominate for years to return. And protecting the flock collectively would be the greatest activity for the group administration forward of the subsequent season.
How they are going to construct on this season’s success will likely be an attention-grabbing look ahead to followers and pundits alike.



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