As the old saying goes, vengeance may be more satisfying if it is not inflicted immediately. Kerala Blasters, however, settled a not-so-old score with bitter rivals Bengaluru FC in the opening match of the 10th edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) in Kochi on Thursday. It was their first meeting in the ISL after Blasters walked off the pitch and forfeited the play-off match against Bengaluru FC in the last edition.
Half of the credit for the 2-1 win goes to midfield general Adrian Luna. The Uruguayan not only lifted his own game a notch higher but also succeeded in keeping every member of the squad motivated. His fighting spirit and resoluteness rubbed off on teammates. From the kick-off to the final whistle, Luna tirelessly covered every blade of grass, and was a real thorn in Bengaluru's flesh. That is what is expected from your No. 10 player!
The rest of the credit should go to head coach Ivan Vukomanovic. He was nowhere near the dugout during the match due to the suspension. However, his team played with cohesion and maintained a positive attitude throughout the match. Historically, Blasters have had troubles in getting in the groove at the start of a season. Against Bengaluru, they played with a solid game plan. Good job, gaffer and as they say, well begun is half done!
(The writer is a former captain of the Indian football team)