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Ivan Vukomanovic Legacy at Kerala Blasters: Achievements and Records

Kerala Blasters' longest-serving coach, Ivan Vukomanovic, brought consistency & records. Here we take a look at his achievements during his era.

Moinak Banerjee
Last updated: 27.04.2024
Ivan Vukomanovic Legacy at Kerala Blasters

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After Ivan Vukomanovic stepped into ISL in 2021 with Kerala Blasters, he made a mark that made him the most prominent coach in the club’s history. Despite failing to win a trophy like his predecessors, the Serbian did something that the other managers failed to do, which is to maintain consistency. Under Vukomanovic, the Tuskers kept themselves in the top six and looked like a genuine threat each season. The club no longer had a see-saw cycle, going close to winning a title under his guidance. He also became the first manager to help the club qualify for the ISL playoffs for the third season, another unmatched record.

Although Vukomanovic stirred the club in the right direction, he cut a controversial figure after directing his team to walk off the pitch midway through the ISL playoff game against Bengaluru FC in 2023. The incident led to fines imposed on him and the club with the shutdown of the women’s football team which put Kerala Blasters in a difficult position. However, Vukomanovic remained in the hearts of his fans and they remained vocal for him. The following season Ivan directed the Blasters into the ISL Shield race but injuries and off-form curtailed their chances as they finished fifth on the table. The Tuskers were beaten in the knockout match against Odisha FC, missing the chance to make it into the semifinals. Only a week later, Kerala Blasters and Ivan Vukomanovic went their respective ways after an eventful period at the club.



Here are Ivan Vukomanovic’s achievements during his stay with Kerala Blasters:


A Servant

Having stayed at Kerala Blasters for two years and 307 days since his appointment in June 2021, Ivan Vukomanovic became the longest-serving manager at the club. No other coach has been able to stay for three seasons at the club with the tenure for most ending within one season at best. The Serbian managed a total of 75 games, at least 34 more than the two managerial spells of David James at the club. He has the highest number of wins in the history of Kerala Blasters, with 33, maintaining a 44% winning percentage. However, Vukomanovic also suffered the most losses with 28.           

Third ISL final

Vukomanovic guided the club to its third ISL final in his maiden season but just like the other two appearances in 2014 and 2016, they had to settle for a runners-up spot. Kerala Blasters finished fourth in the 2020-21 season helping them with a semifinal berth. The Tuskers beat Shield winners Jamshedpur FC 2-1 over two legs in the next stage to make it into the final. Despite taking the lead, the final against  Hyderabad FC ended in 1-1 with the Blasters losing 3-1 on penalties.     

Highest Points tally

It was the same season by finishing fourth Kerala Blasters achieved the most points in their ISL history, under the guidance of the 46-year-old. The club managed 34 points from 20 matches, collecting nine wins during the league and one more in the semifinals. The Tuskers also scored the most goals in their history in this period with 34. Alvaro Vazquez and Jorge Diaz combined for 16 strikes to that tally with marksman Adrian Luna chipping in with six while providing seven assists. Blasters also kept a positive goal difference for the first time in their history, conceding the joint-lowest defeat with just four. 

Record Wins

Vukomanovic’s achievements continued in the following campaign with Kerala Blasters reaching double figures in their win tally for the first time in ISL. The three-time ISL finalists collected 10 wins from 21 games with seven coming at Kochi and three away, both records. The club also secured the most consecutive wins at home with six over four months. Blasters finished fifth in the 2022-23 season and managed a playoff berth.

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