Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis was unhappy with his side's second-half performance after they lost to Mumbai City FC by a 3-2 scoreline in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

It was a roller coaster game in the opening fixture of Matchweek 18, where Petr Kratky’s team secured their spot in the playoffs with a thrilling win against the Shers in a five-goal encounter.

The Islanders broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Lallianzuala Chhangte scored on the rebound after Bipin Singh's attempt was saved. However, the hosts made their way back into the game with offensive duo Madih Talal and Wilmar Jordan Gil finding the scoresheet.

The Frenchman leveled the scoreline in the 37th minute with his outstanding curler from the edge of the box, while Gil’s inch-perfect header gave his side a one-goal lead, heading into the halftime break with a 2-1 scoreline. However, Mumbai City FC staged a remarkable comeback through Spanish forward Iker Guarrotxena’s brace, securing the Islanders' double over Punjab FC.

Looking back at the game, Vergetis felt it was a tale of two halves for his side.

“Generally, I want to say that the game was divided into two parts. In one part, we were perfect with our tactics, and we did well, but in the other part, where Mumbai City FC had enough to score two goals, we lost our organisation,” Vergetis said in the post-match press conference.

The Greek coach expressed his opinion that his players lacked intensity in the second half, a factor that ultimately cost his side points against Mumbai City FC. Despite this setback, he aimed to focus on the positives, commending his players for their noteworthy first-half performance.

"We came out in the second half in a passive role, but I don’t know why. I will have to check with my players because this small period of time caused us to lose the game. Apart from this period, the team was good on the field,” he commented.

Speaking in context, he added, “We obligated Mumbai City FC players to delay to pass the time. When you make big clubs do these things, it means that you did something.”

Despite the result, Vergetis backed his players to do well in their upcoming fixtures.

“We have to analyze the game to cut some situations important to demonstrate to the players and have to motivate them, not criticise,” he shared.