Mumbai City FC had absolute control of the second half: Punjab FC's Staikos Vergetis
Staikos Vergetis elaborated on the factors that led to his team's defeat against Mumbai City FC.
Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis expressed his disappointment after his side faced defeat to Mumbai City FC in matchweek 6 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Thursday.
After the brilliant start from the Shers, their striker Luka Majcen bagged his second goal of the season in the 38th minute to give the ISL debutants the lead. Deep into the second half, as Punjab FC seemed to be right on track for their first ISL win, Mumbai City FC forward, Greg Stewart, reminded them that the game was far from over. He netted a banger from outside the box in the 82nd minute to level the score and seconds later, Jorge Pereyra Diaz gave the Islanders their lead, denying Punjab FC any point from the game.
Vergetis felt that the lack of experience among his players resulted in the loss.
"From the beginning of the second half, the opponent team added players to the attacking third, making our lives difficult. They gained control of the game, which forced us to better protect our team by adding defensive players to try and control them. But unfortunately, even though we had players in the middle space, we conceded the first goal from that area. Due to the lack of experience of many players, the second goal came very quickly and these are situations that we need to manage better during the game," Vergetis stated in the post-match press conference.
The Greek tactician believes that the home side dominated them in the second half, denying them any points from the game. He also shared what went wrong for them.
"In the second half, Mumbai City FC had absolute control of the game. Even though the first half went according to our plan, with us intercepting many balls and launching promising attacks, the second half was a different story," he shared.
The Shers have played six games in the ISL so far, but even though they have managed two draws, they are yet to register a victory in the league. The 47-year-old believes their first victory is not far away.
“It will come. This is something that we want a lot. Everybody wants to win. First of all, I wanted the team, before starting the league, to be competitive, and apart from the previous game against Chennaiyin FC, all the other games were very competitive. It's not far away,” he said.
Greek defender Dimitrios Chatziisaias received a red card late in the game and will be missing Punjab FC's next home match against Hyderabad FC. But Vergetis believes there are worthy players on the bench who could replace him in the lineup and it won't be much of a problem.
"It was bad luck a few seconds before we finished the game, but I have no clear idea what happened there. But we have players in the roster to replace him, good players in his position," he commented.