Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis praised his team's fighting spirit despite their defeat to FC Goa in their second Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Monday.

FC Goa's Spanish striker, Carlos Martinez, marked his ISL debut with the only goal of the match. Punjab FC custodian Kiran Chemjong made several crucial saves that prevented his team from conceding more goals. The Shers created numerous goal-scoring opportunities throughout the 90 minutes but were unable to find the back of the net.

“We had a two-phase (performance). In the first half, especially in the first 20 minutes, we were not good in our defensive function. We allowed the opponent to dictate the rhythm of the game and create scoring opportunities. And overall, we were not good at our defensive tasks. However, in the last 15 minutes of the first half and (throughout the entire) second half, we were better in this aspect. We were more dangerous. We tried until the last second to score one goal for (that) one point, but I (believe) that my players fought a lot until the last second,” Vergetis said in the post-match press conference.

Vergetis seemed unhappy with his defenders but lauded his team's offensive performance. He noted that it was a highly open and entertaining game for both teams and the spectators, especially the final ten minutes when both sides had scoring chances.

“In the last ten minutes, the game was played at a very high pace. Both teams had opportunities in open space to create goal-scoring chances. FC Goa also had a chance to score a second goal because the game was wide open, with the ball rapidly moving from one end to another. However, this dynamic added excitement to the match. I believe it was an enjoyable game for the people who saw that on television and the people who came to the stadium.,” he explained.

Wilmar Jordan made his debut for Punjab FC, replacing Luca Majcen for the final quarter of the match. When quizzed about playing both the foreigners together Vergetis said, "It is something that exists in our mind. But until now, we have not tested this. Because Jordan came late, we prepared him, and until now we have not had the time to prepare to try this in the training. But it is in our mind.”