The Dragoons March On
A blisteringly hot Saturday morning saw the Dragoons continue their winning run against Wawel Krakow. Despite being a home fixture for the Dragoons, the match took place on Wawel’s home turf due to the Dragoons usual stomping ground being unavailable.
Due to the heat, both sides took time to really get themselves going. The first real half chance of the game appeared in the 11th minute, when Oleksii Bilorukavyi fouled an opponent on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick was swung into the box, however the Dragoons cleared their lines with ease.
Into the 17th minute, the Dragoons had their first chance. Simon Calabrese met the ball with his head in the box and it looped towards goal. Wawel keeper Kamil Folta fumbled the header and lost sight of the ball as it dribbled towards goal. The visiting custodian got down just in time to stop the ball crossing the line to deny the Dragoons a comical opening goal.
Chances for both sides became a premium and into the 21st minute Rohit Chandran flashed a shot wide of the target.
A few moments later, the Dragoons almost caused an issue for themselves. Firstly, Emre Bezrikan made a great interception to take the ball off the toes of Grzegorz Owca as he looked to break into the box. As the loose ball rolled toward goal, Simon Calabrese shielded the forward’s run and ended up grounded after keeper Dmytro Kontsevyi blasted the ball straight into the defender’s midriff.
Into the 25th minute and Enrico Forabosco had an opportunity to shoot from a free-kick around 35 metres from goal. The midfield dynamo hit the ball cleanly, but saw his shot deflect off of the wall and the danger cleared.
Two minutes later and Wawel had a free-kick of their own. The dangerous Artur Barwiołek stepped up and curled a shot towards goal that forced Kontsevyi into an unorthodox save.
Straight from the save, the Dragoons produced the best clear chance of the match. A long ball forward presented Flavio Nkola to have a footrace with the visiting defence. The winger sped through the Wawel backline with ease and found himself with just Folta to beat. The visiting custodian dashed off his line and stood strong to deny the Dragoons man a certain goal.
Wawel had their best chance of the half so far in the 31st minute. Ireneusz Kania took advantage of the loose ball in the Dragoons half and released Bartosz Kidoń to shoot. The Wawel man connected well with the shot but could not find a way past Kontsevyi, who saved well.
Into the 35th minute and the Dragoons broke the deadlock. Enrico Forabosco picked up the ball in the middle of the park and played a scintillating lofted through ball to put Nkola through on goal. The Dragoons forward elected to round Folta on this occasion and passed the ball into the empty net to make it 1-0.
Nkola was at the heart of the action once again in the 42nd minute. A good burst forward from full-back Francesco Leuci saw him release the ball to Nkola on the edge of the box. The Angolan hitman toyed with the defender and worked the ball onto his right foot. On this occasion however, Nkola could not find the target and the shot flew over the crossbar.
As the half approached its climax, the Dragoons strengthened their foothold with a second goal with an Italian theme. Simon Calabrese played a lovely pass forward for Leuci to run onto down the right flank. The full-back put a cross straight to the feet of Andrea Latino. The striker turned expertly in the box and coolly finished into the bottom corner to double the score line to 2-0.
The first chance of the second half came the Dragoons way. The quicksilver Nkola again burst through the Wawel left flank with consummate ease. The Dragoons man raced through the corner of the box but saw his shot blocked by Folta at a tight angle.
In a half bereft of chances, it took until the 56th minute for the next opportunity to be presented. A foul on the edge of the box gave Wawel the chance to get back into the game. The resulting free-kick however, cannoned off the Dragoons wall and the chance was gone.
Into the 59th minute and Dragoons nearly added a fortuitous third goal. Enrico Forabosco whipped in a corner that struck the near post and bounced away from danger.
A couple of minutes later, Leuci put in a delightful cross that Nkola powered towards goal with his head. Unfortunately for the Dragoons, the ball fizzed just wide of the target.
A Moment of Class
In the 67th minute, Rohit Chandran produced a real moment of quality with a sublime through pass for Michał Nowak to run on to. Nowak powered into the box through the right flank, but could only drag the shot wide of the target.
Dmytro Kontsevyi had been a spectator for much of the second half, but had to be alert in the 72nd minute. The Dragoons showed a strong pair of hands to deny a powerful drive from the visitors, with the defence on hand to clear away the loose ball.
Michał Nowak then had two chances in quick succession to further the Dragoons tally. Firstly, the Dragoons man found himself through on goal with just the onrushing Folta to beat. Nowak attempted to lob the visiting custodian, but could not get enough elevation on the ball and Folta gathered well.
Fellow substitute Krzysztof Musiał put Nowak through on goal again moments later. Nowak hit a shot at goal, however Folta could not be beaten and denied the Dragoons a third goal.
A trademark long-throw from Nowak caused havoc in the Wawel box with 10 minutes left on the clock. The ball fizzed towards goal and a defender glanced the ball just over his own crossbar.
Into the final stages of a sun-baked game both sides flashed headers past the post. The Dragoons wound down the clock in the corner to earn a hard-fought 2-0 victory in testing conditions.
The Expats showed enough quality to see off their opponents and will face-off against 8th placed KS Albertus Krakow in the final game of a long season.