Mumbai City FC head coach Petr Kratky expressed disappointment with the outcome but praised his players' efforts despite their defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the League Shield decider of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Monday.

In the final match of the season for both teams, Mumbai City FC only needed a draw to secure the Shield, while Mohun Bagan SG required a win. The home side took the lead through Liston Colaco. Despite a strong second-half fightback, the Islanders struggled to find the equaliser before substitute Jason Cummings extended the Mariners' lead to 2-0 late in the game. Lallianzuala Chhangte's late goal revitalised Mumbai City FC's hopes of a comeback, but they fell short in the end.

Kratky was unhappy with his team's approach in the opening stages of the game, feeling they lacked intensity.

"I think the start of our first half was very slow. We didn't put the pressure on the ball as much as we would like to. We took things very slow..That approach, from the start, I've been a little bit disappointed about. We want to play football. We want to, we want to go for it. Yes, we knew we needed one point, that's fine. But our processes, our mentality needs to be all the time. I know it's hard, but we need to stick to our way how we want to play,” he said in the post-match press conference, reflecting on the first half. 

“The first 15-20 minutes, we were a little bit lacking of that intensity on the ball and we gave Mohun Bagan SG little bit of space to come up higher and they are a very good team around the box. As we can see the wingers cutting inside and shooting from outside the box and we got the goal like that. It was a great goal. We knew how they can hurt us and they did. They are a good team,” he added. 

However, Kratky found solace in his players' second-half performance despite the unfavourable result at the final whistle. He urged them to focus on the future and put the disappointment behind them.

“It was disappointing losing 1-0 but I told them at half-time we will score a goal. In most of our games, we have scored goals. And I told all the players to keep going, we will score a goal. We did. Unfortunately, it was 2-0 when we tried to push (for the equaliser) and they caught us on a counter attack,” he further said.

“The players fought until the end. They tried their best. That’s what I can ask. I know it hurts but we just have to move forward, analyse what happened and why and also give credit to Mohun Bagan SG,” he added. 

With this result, Mohun Bagan SG secured their inaugural League Shield, marking a significant milestone in their journey. Under Antonio Habas's guidance since January, they've made remarkable strides, triumphing in nine out of 12 games.

Kratky extended his congratulations to the Mariners for their achievement while emphasising the importance of his team shifting their focus to the upcoming semi-final and aiming to win the ISL Cup.

“Credit goes to Mohun Bagan SG, who are a good team, they have had a great season. You know, they changed the coach halfway and they bring the energy and they have quality players. So credit also to them (for) how they managed the game and to win. So congratulations to Mohun Bagan SG. But for us it's sad, but it's not finished. We still have two jobs to do (over two legs in the semi-final). We have the semi-finals coming and we have to regroup and go for the other trophy,” Krakty expressed. 

Over 60,000 spectators packed the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata for the final league match of the season. Among them were thousands of passionate Mohun Bagan SG supporters, who fervently cheered for their team throughout the game. Kratky expressed his delight at the massive turnout for the match, but he also conveyed his apologies to their supporters who had travelled to Kolkata for the game. 

"Look, we played Mohun Bagan SG away, the biggest game in a season for a title. You play away (against) 61,000 people which is fantastic for Indian football. Love to see. Unfortunately I would love to win but I'm happy for Indian football. This is what we want in every game, not just for the special occasions, how we can make people excited and thanks to the fans who came and they were great and helped Mohun  Bagan today. That's what I always say. The fans are very important for us and I'm sorry for our fans because we couldn't bring the shield home. But we will try our best now to win the rest of the competition."