Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis feels they were very near to their first Indian Super League victory after a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Shers took three shots on target and had 41.6% of possession against the Nizams.
The home team was given an advantage after Juan Mera scored in the 82nd minute. However, when Punjab FC was in touching distance away from their first ISL win, Jonathan Moya extinguished those hopes with an equalizer in the dying seconds of the stoppage time.
“Of course, the players are very sad because they were waiting for our first victory,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“We were very near to this (our first ISL victory). But as I told them (the players), if we do the maximum, if we put our maximum effort into every game as we do today, good results will come. For me, I am not so sad because I saw the team playing good football in some periods of the game and being very competitive, and I like this. I like that; as long as the games pass, the team starts to increase their performance,” he added.
Vergetis admitted that his players adopted a defensive approach after taking the lead and feels it has become a norm for the teams to play defensively after taking advantage.
“It’s the nature of the sport of football. The team that fights to survive and fights to draw when it’s back in the score will press more. And automatically, sometimes the team that is in front of the score tries to defend and try to keep what result it has. And it happens automatically in the mentality of the players many times. It’s not an issue that in the last minute the team loses concentration or all of this,” Vergetis opined.
“The opponent fights more, tries more, and okay, we could finish the game a little bit, playing badly in the last minutes, or delay all of the things. But we don’t do this. It’s not an issue for the last minutes. I think we must stay focused on our job, and everything will go better,” he added.
The gaffer wants the fans to come in huge numbers in order to support them in Delhi.
“I would like to encourage people from Delhi or Punjab to come and watch because the games are very interesting. I enjoy football in India. It features a lot of transitions, fast-paced action, and maintains interest until the last minute, as we witnessed today. I believe that games like this draw people to the stadiums. I call on them to come, support our team, and enjoy the game.”
Punjab FC will next take on Bengaluru at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on 30th November.