Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis was not satisfied with his team’s performance as his side lost 1-0 Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.

Dimitrios Diamantakos’s solitary goal in the 51st minute proved to be the difference, handing Punjab FC their fifth loss of the season. The Blasters got another brilliant chance to double their lead in the 55th minute, where both Vibin Mohanan and Marko Leskovic’s attempts were denied by the crossbar. Throughout the match, the hosts showcased their defensive resilience and solidity to prevent Kerala Blasters FC from scoring another goal but failed to equalise by the end of 90 minutes.

Vergetis stated that his team had better control the game in the first half but also acknowledged that in the first quarter of the second half, things did not go according to plan.

“I believe that in the first half, we had control over Kerala Blasters FC,” Vergetis said in the post-match press conference.

“We succeeded in keeping the opponent team far away from our post. In the second half, the first 12–15 minutes, Kerala Blasters FC came inside (our box), increasing her performance a lot, and we were lost in the field at all. We had no concentration on the tactical planning of the tasks that we had and the roles that we had to play on the field. We were absolutely lost,” he added.

Vergetis felt that conceding the opening goal from the spot kick totally changed the dimension of the game and said his team tried their best to push for the second goal and make their way back into the game.  

“I prefer to say that after the goal that we received and the changes that we were obligated to make, we balanced the game.”

“But we made the team more offensive, and we had open space in our backs in the transition. Kerala Blasters FC had their good moments in the offensive transition to make the second goal. But we are forced to do this in case of the offensive risk to draw the game,” he opined.

Punjab FC brought on Wilmar Jordan, Prasanth K, Kingslee Fernandes and Leon Augustine in the second half. However, the substitutes couldnt make much of an impact with the hosts struggling to test Kerala Blasters FC keeper Sachin Suresh. Punjab FC did not register a single shot on target and were also sloppy in possession. Vergetis ackowledged that his side weren't at their best and stated that losing the ball on multiple occasions made things difficult.   

“We made some substitutes fast, and we balanced the game again, searching for one goal until the last second that never came,” he said.

“I think that we did not have a good performance today. Most of our players, especially with the ball, were very bad. We lost many balls, and we lost many second balls. That's why we could not make as many attacks as we hoped that we could,” he signed off.