Dragoons 1-1 Wawel: Champagne Back on Ice

Rohit Chandran of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Dragoons Dragoons
Wawel Wawel
Sun, 12 Jun 2022 14:00 Klasa B — Week 25
KS Nadwiślan Kraków


Champagne Back on Ice

The Dragoons took on K.S. Wawel this week, knowing victory would secure a maiden league title for the Expats.

Krakow Dragoons FC supporters on the stands vs Wawel
The Fans Expectant — Players and Fans sit in the stands hoping to see the Expats secure victory

Following the previous win over Fairant, the Dragoons made three changes to the starting line-up. The big friendly Belarusian, Alexey Zelenkin returned to the squad after injury, taking the place of Simon Calabrese. David Nicolas and Adrian Paliś also came into the starting line-up replacing Rob Smits and Enrico Forabosco.

Alexey Zelenkin of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
The BFB — Belarusian defender Alexey Zelenkin returned to the side after a long injury layoff

The Dragoons created the first chance of the game in the 5th minute. Brian Lemmen came out of defence and played a lovely through pass for Yuri Samyonov. The striker burst through the Wawel backline, taking a touch and cutting the ball back to Robert Ambrosie. The Romanian full-back hit a fierce effort at goal, which forced Antoni Grzyb to fling to his right and palm away for a corner.

Robert Ambrosie of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
First Chance! — Robert Ambrosie stung the palms of the Wawel goalkeeper with the first shot of the game

Ambrosie whipped the corner into the box and Nicolas ran onto the ball at the near post. The Frenchman got to the set-piece first but could not stab the ball towards the target.

Dare to Dream!

Moments after, more pressure from the Expats saw the ball played into Paliś, who gloriously flicked a pass to Samyonov. The Israeli hit a shot at goal and saw the ball deflect wide for the Dragoons second corner of the game.

Yuri Samyonov of Krakow Dragoons FC attempts shot at goal vs Wawel
Deflected — Yuri Samyonov’s shot goes out of play via a deflection

Flavio Nkola stepped up to take the set piece, sending a strong swerving ball into the box. Paliś got a firm forehead to the ball, and sent it beyond Grzyb and into the back of the net. The goal saw the Dragoons take the lead in the 7th minute and the Polish striker grab his 22nd goal of the campaign.

Adrian Paliś of Krakow Dragoons FC heads the ball into goal vs Wawel
On Yer Head Son — Adrian Paliś directs the ball beyond the keeper and into the net
Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal vs Wawel
Into the Lead — The Dragoons celebrate Paliś opening goal

In the 15th minute, a swift attack saw Paliś sprint down the right flank. The forward tried a shot on goal, but did not strike it cleanly and the effort went wide.

A minute later, Wawel had their first attempt of the game through veteran Grzegorz Pater. The striker wasted no time in hitting a first-time effort, but ballooned the shot into outer space.

Krakow Dragoons FC players warming up vs Wawel
Watching On — Substitutes Krzysztof Musiał, Gonçalo Rodrigues and Dmytro Kontsevyi warm up on the side line

Wawel Tear Up The Script

In the 20th minute, a foul on the edge of the Dragoons box gave Pater another shooting chance. The former Wisła Kraków veteran dusted himself down to take the kick himself. Pater sent a curling effort around the Dragoons wall and beyond the despairing dive of Munoz to equal the score at 1-1.

The goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of the Dragoons who huffed and puffed in attack.

In the 30th minute, Adrian Paliś flashed a rasping shot wide after a period of good build up play.

Adrian Paliś of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Paliś Piledriver — Dragoons all-time leading scorer shapes to shoot at goal

Red Mist!

Five minutes later, the Wawel goalscorer and one time Poland international, Pater saw red. The striker looked to break forward, but Rohit Chandran would not give the veteran any breathing space. The Wawel man proceeded to chuck an arm back, whacking Chandran in the face and the referee showed no hesitation in sending Pater for an early bath.

Rohit Chandran of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Tiny Dancer — Rohit Chandran gets away from an opponent on the right flank

Chandran produced the next best chance of the half for the Dragoons on the stroke of half time. The mercurial Indian burst through the Wawel defence down the right and tried to cut a pass back across goal. Antoni Grzyb got down bravely at the near post and did well to hold the ball under pressure.

The half time whistle sounded moments later with the Expats lacking their usual panache in possession.

Krakow Dragoons FC supporters on the stands vs Wawel
Cheers! — Alex Băcica enjoying a brew and a rare day-off with Renato Alves on camera duties

Second Half

With the chance to win the title beckoning, the Expats came out of the break quickly.

The Dragoons drove forward in numbers and Robert Ambrosie found himself in possession on the right flank. The full-back ran into the box and put a ball across the goal that caught everyone out, but came back off of the base of the post. The Expats regained possession of the ball and Brian Lemmen tried his luck from range, sending a powerful drive at goal, but straight at Grzyb who clutched the ball into his body.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Battle of Wawel Hill — Brian Lemmen watches the outfield with Wawel Castle lurking in the background

In the 50th minute, the Expats created three opportunities to score. Dawson had the first chance, finding himself in the box and lashing the ball low, which Grzyb diverted away. The loose ball fell to David Nicolas who saw his effort again saved by the visiting custodian. The ball bobbled out of the box with Samyonov seeing a shot blocked by a defender and Chandran then tried his luck, but Grzyb remained alert to save comfortably.

Krakow Dragoons FC bench vs Wawel
Waltzing Rohit — Mercurial attacker Rohit Chandran bursting down the left, looking to make things happen for the Expats

A Gilt-Edged Chance

Another huge chance fell the Dragoons way three minutes later. Alexey Zelenkin found himself on the edge of the Wawel box and played a great flick into the path of Samyonov. The May Player of the Month nominee, had just Grzyb to beat, but saw his tame side-footed shot deflected away by the keeper’s legs.

Yuri Samyonov of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Chance Missed — Yuri Samyonov spurned a good chance as the Expats push for a title-winning goal

Moments after, Dawson put in a teasing low cross into the Wawel box. Paliś looked to have an easy tap in, however the usually deadly striker missed the ball completely. Ambrosie reacted fastest to gain possession, but smacked a shot over the crossbar.

The dangerous Dawson went close in consecutive minutes, firstly nodding over Ambrosie’s cross and came a hair’s width of getting his head to an Nkola corner. Should contact have been made, it would have certainly have seen the Expats re-take the lead.

Supporters of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
WAGS — The Expat female fan contingent watch on in the sun

Martin Voženílek entered the game in the 65th minute replacing Yuri Samyonov.

Despite the Dragoons dominance in possession, they struggled to create many more clear-cut chances.

Wawel Spoil The Party?

With the Expats pouring men forward, it was Wawel who looked the more likely to score on the counter. Jakub Warchał found himself free in space for the visitors, but the Wawel man saw his shot saved easily by Muñoz.

Gabriel Muñoz Garcia of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Safe Hands — Gabriel Muñoz grasps the ball and scans for an outfield pass

The visitors had a better chance three minutes later, as neither the Dragoons defence or Wawel attack quite knew where the ball was. Muñoz came off his line and saw the ball strike his shins before the Expats could clear.

Muñoz again had to be wary with ten minutes left. Bartosz Kidoń saw the Chilean stopper off his line and attempted an audacious shot from range. Fortunately, the Wawel substitute failed to get any elevation on the ball and Muñoz grasped the shot out of the air.

Brave defending by Wawel man-mountain Adrian Chrobak saw a cross from Paliś turned away for a corner. The set-piece saw Bezirkan somehow miss the ball, and a foul was given as the Expats looked to bundle it into the net.

Emre Bezirkan of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
The Wall — Wawel captain Adrian Chrobak stops Emre Bezirkan from sending the ball goalwards

A Last Chance

The last chance of the game came and went for Dragoons. Voženílek gained possession for the first time since coming onto the pitch and burst into the Wawel box. The Czech sent a teasing ball across goal and found Nkola at the back post. The Angolan could not find the target and the whistle went shortly afterwards.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wawel
Last Gasp Chance — Flavio Nkola sends Martin Voženílek’s cross wide of the goal

In truth, the Dragoons lacked the final ball to kill off the ten men of Wawel, who defended stoutly. Time and time again, the Expats struggled to stretch their opponent’s backline and failed to work the Wawel goalkeeper.

The draw means that the Expats blew the chance to win the league and the title race will go down to the wire. Rybitwy are now just two points behind the Expats owing to Kolejarz/Prokocim II Kraków forfeiting the fixture. Rybitwy travel to Albertus on the final day of the season needing to win to have a chance of stealing the title.

Krakow Dragoons FC supporters on the stands
Champagne on Ice — The Dragoons fans watch-on at the final whistle as the side fail to secure the league title

Bieżanowianka II Kraków stand in the way of the Expats next Saturday. The Dragoons won the reverse fixture 3-0 earlier in the season and know a solitary point will be enough to be crown league victors.

Posted on Text: Dave Burch Photography: Pedro Viernes Visual Editing: Daniel Silva


1Gabriel Muñoz (chi)
2Alexey Zelenkin (blr)
5David Nicolas (fra) 20
6Brian Lemmen (ned) 24
9Adrian Paliś (pol) 7'
10Flavio Nkola (ang)
12Yuri Samyonov (isr) 21
12Robert Ambrosie (rou)
15Rohit Chandran (ind)
18Josh Dawson (eng)
23Mark Szczesnowicz (pol/aus) 19
33Dmytro Kontsevyi (ukr)
4Gonçalo Rodrigues (por)
17Krzysztof Musiał (pol)
19Emre Bezirkan (tur) 23
20Daniel Silva (por) 5
21Martin Voženílek (cze) 12
24Scott Halcrow (eng) 6
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