Dragoons Fightback to Win
The Dragoons latest fixture saw the side face third place Rybitwy at Nadwiślan on Sunday afternoon, while proudly taking part in the #FootballPeople weeks campaign.
The #FootballPeople weeks is the largest crusade for social change and diversity in global football. Being a multinational side, the Dragoons stand together as one against discrimination and actively support diversity and inclusion within the beautiful game.
As the game started, Rybitwy looked fired up for the match and looked to press the Dragoons high up the field.
The visitors bright start to the match was rewarded in only the 6th minute. Scott Halcrow dallied in possession and Rybitwy’s Piotr Skrzypek took the ball off of the stand-in defender’s toes. With just Gabi Muñoz to beat, the visiting forward picked his spot and smashed the ball into the net to open the scoring.
Into the 12th minute, and it could have been worse for the Expats. A long-throw into the box saw Zelenkin clear as far as the edge of the penalty box. Filip Stefańczyk nudged the ball on to his right foot and Gabi Muñoz saved to deny a second Rybitwy goal.
The Dragoons felt slightly aggrieved moments later following a long-throw of their own. Michał Nowak launched the ball into the box, which bounced once before Mark Szczesnowicz bravely leaped to head at goal. The ball appeared to strike the hand of a defender, but the Dragoons appeals went awry and the game continued.
Dragoons top-scorer Adrian Paliś had an excellent chance to equalise in the 16th minute. The forward playing on the right flank, gratefully latched onto a poor misplaced pass to dart into the box. With only goalkeeper Dariusz Kurnik to beat, the striker pulled the trigger, but saw the custodian stand strong to save the shot.
Paliś made amends five minutes later to equal the score line at 1-1. The marksman raced onto a Forabosco long ball on the right side and managed to get a cross into the box at the second attempt. Flavio Nkola looked favourite to win the ball and get a shot on goal, but found his progress halted after being bundled to the ground. The referee pointed to the spot and Paliś stepped up to send Kurnik the wrong way to score. The strike saw Paliś grab his ninth goal of the season.
The game turned into a scrappy stalemate as both sides looked to work an opening, but lacking the final product.
A moment of brilliance almost saw the Dragoons grab the lead. Enrico Forabosco pirouetted into the Rybitwy box, twisting and turning before finding himself at a dead end. The midfield magician stabbed a pass to Paliś, who hit a rasping low drive that looked destined for the net, only for Kurnik to fling himself down to his right and produce an excellent diving save.
In the last encounter between the two sides, Rybitwy caused the Dragoons all sorts of problems from set-pieces. Halcrow gifted the visitors a chance, handling a goalbound shot outside of the box. Fortunately, the resulting free-kick smacked into the Dragoons wall and diverted away for a corner that came to nothing.
Moments after in the 42nd minute, Rybitwy should have re-taken the lead. A ball into the box caused havoc in the Dragoons backline and Mateusz Kurnik somehow missed the target, heading the ball over the bar from close range.
Rybitwy ended the half the stronger side and Muñoz had to be alert to comfortably save Eryk Mysior’s long-range effort.
The Dragoons made a double change at the break with Rob Smits replacing the injured Enrico Forabosco. Right-back Edoardo Battaglion also made way for Rohit Chandran to make his first appearance of the season.
Despite the changes, Rybitwy started the second half where they left off in the first and retook the lead in the 50th minute. A long-throw into the Dragoons box was headed clear but fell to Dawid Raś. The Rybitwy man sent a thunderous effort from the edge of the area, which took a slight deflection and zinged past Muñoz and into the net to make it 1-2.
The Dragoons came close to an instant riposte in the 53rd minute. In a game dominated by chances from long-throws, Nowak’s laser guided effort found the head of Rob Smits. The Dutchman nodded the ball goalward, only for a defender to block the chance on the goal line.
Super Samyonov Levels the Score
In the 57th minute, the Dragoons found themselves level once again. Good work from Paliś on the flank saw the ball played to Nkola. The Angolan worked the ball onto his right foot and saw his low shot saved, rebounding back into the danger zone. Yuri Samyonov, the Dragoons Johnny on the spot, reacted quickest to pounce onto the loose ball and prodded home to make the score 2-2.
Just two minutes later, and Samyonov had the ball in the net a second time. A long-throw into the box saw Flavio Nkola rise highest to nod towards goal and Samyonov rammed the ball into the net. However, the flag went up from the assistant referee to cancel out the strike to deny the goal.
The Expats began to find their rhythm and began causing problems to the Rybitwy backline. Rob Smits had a chance to put the Dragoons in front with a free-kick. The Dutchman curled an effort round the wall, however, Kurnik gathered at his near post with ease.
Rybitwy had an opportunity from a free kick of their own a moment later. The following set-piece flew towards goal and required Gabi Muñoz to punch the ball over his own bar.
Dragoons Turn The Screw
Soon after, Scott Halcrow showed good initiative to take a quick free-kick to find Ernesto Bumba Jr. The substitute winger took the ball under control, but could not find a clean connection with his shot allowing Kurnik to collect.
Moments later the Dragoons’ Nkola found space on the edge of the box, but blasted his shot into oblivion.
Into the 68th minute, a foul by the Expats gave Rybitwy a free-kick and the prospect to grab the lead. Luckily for the home side, the wall stood strong to block the goal bound effort and deny the chance.
A Nowak long-throw into the box presented a good opportunity for the Expats. Rybitwy failed to clear their lines and Emre Çolakoğlu arched a beautifully struck shot at goal. The midfielder nearly grabbed his first goal for the club, only for a brave defensive header inside the six-metre area to turn the ball over the bar.
Scintillating Smits to the Rescue
The Expats took the lead for the first time in the encounter in the 74th minute. Rob Smits’ corner made its way across the box, with Szczesnowicz taking possession of the ball on the left side. The Australian shaped to cross and expertly dropped a shoulder to outwit the approaching defender, putting the ball onto his left foot. The following cross skewed goal-wards, forcing Kurnik to back-peddle and touch the ball onto his own crossbar. Rob Smits expertly anticipated the flight of the ball at the back post and gleefully poked the ball into the net from a metre out, to send the Dragoons supporters into raptures. A euphoric celebration followed on the pitch and a wonderful moment for the Dutchmeester in front of visiting friends and family!
Nkola came close to doubling the lead in the 78th minute. A wonderfully crafted move involving Chandran and Bumba, saw Paliś square the ball to the speedster. Nkola drilled a low piledriver at goal, only for Kurnik to spring to his left to turn the ball around the post.
That man Nkola was in the thick of the action once again minutes later. A long-ball forward by Halcrow saw the Angolan leap to head the ball forwards. The flying winger raced onto his own knock-down and found himself in the box at a tight angle. Nkola elected to shoot and Kurnik was able to get down smartly to smother the ball and deny the chance.
Rohit Chandran came close in the dying embers of the match. The pacy playmaker hit a sweet snapshot that just went wide of the target.
The shot proved to be the final chance of the game, with the Dragoons expertly winding down the clock to ensure victory.
The Dragoons March Continues!
Rybitwy proved to be a strong opponent for the Expats and fought hard. The Dragoons had to dig deep to secure the three points and remain unbeaten in B Klasa so far.
The Expats will put their eight-game winning run on the line away from home at Albertus Kraków next Saturday. Albertus are currently 10th in the table following a 5-4 reverse against Pychowianka this weekend.
The sides played out a drab 3-3 draw at home in the final game of the 20/21 season and in the reverse fixture last November, two injury time goals saw the Dragoons come from behind to snatch all three points at the death.
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