Dragoons 3-3 Iskra Krzęcin: A Game of Penalties!

Bartek Chowaniec dominates the ball inside the opponents area at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Dragoons Dragoons
Iskra Krzęcin Iskra Krzęcin
Sat, 8 Oct 2022 12:30 Klasa A — Week 7
KS Prądniczanka Kraków


A Game of Penalties!

League leaders RKS Iskra Krzęcin travelled to Prądniczanka to face the Dragoons off the back of a six-game unbeaten run.

The Expats would need to be at their best to get anything from out of the game. One change at the back saw Josh Dawson return to the side to replace Brian Lemmen.

A slight change in formation saw Szymon Urzędowski replace Ceri Looker in the first XI, slotting into a deeper midfield role alongside captain Mark Szczesnowicz.

Rob Smits dropped to the bench whilst Joaquin Serrano missed the game entirely. Enrico Forabosco shook off a knock to return to the starting line-up along with Emre Bezirkan.

Krakow Dragoons FC starting 11 posing for a photo before the match vs Iskra Krzęcin
Line Up — Top L-R: Marcin Obyrtacz, Josh Dawson, Emre Bezirkan, Michał Nowak, Simon Calabrese and Barry Chowaniec. Bottom L-R: Mark Szczesnowicz (C), Szymon Urzędowski, Rohit Chandran, Robert Ambrosie and Enrico Forabosco.

The Dragoons started the game positively, on the front foot and taking the game to the opponents.

Dragoons Lead Early On

An early corner from Forabosco, who else, brought the first goal of the game in just four minutes. The Italian curled the ball onto the head of Josh Dawson. Adrian Kisielewski in the Iskra goal made a great stop to deny the Englishman from point blank range, but the danger remained. Rohit Chandran reacted fastest to turn the rebound into the net via the post for the opening goal.

A corner kick at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Chandran On The Move — The Indian Whirlwind marshals the six yard box on Dragoons set pieces

Barry With The Second

With just 7 minutes played the Dragoons increased their lead with a second strike. A poor long pass out the back by the visitors landed at the feet of Dawson. The defender sent a speculative pass forward, which bounced kindly into the path of Forabosco. The Italian found himself with Bezirkan to his left and Barry Chowaniec to the right. Stuck in the middle, he decided to pass to the Dragoons top scorer Chowaniec, who took a touch and poked the ball beyond Kisielewski into the net.

Bartek Chowaniec takes an opponent out of his way at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Breaking Barry — The Dragoons second goalscorer paces down the right flank

It almost became three moments after, as Michał Nowak launched an absolute missile of throw into the box. Dawson got his head to the ball and once again Kisielewski saved. On this occasion, Chandran again reacted quickest, but found himself in an offside position.

Forabosco’s set pieces created havoc in the early stages. A free-kick out wide again found Dawson’s big bonce. Only this time, the ball deflected out for a corner. Sadly, the Dragoons could not further increase their lead.

Players moving inside the area during a free kick at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Jumping Josh — The Dragoons centre back on his toes to get his head onto a Forabosco set-piece

Penalty Kick!

Iskra had their first real foray forward in the 16th minute of the match. Tomasz Ziarko latched onto a cross-field ball and turned inside Dawson. The fleet-footed attacker breached the box and went flying over the outstretched foot of Nowak. The referee immediately pointed to the spot giving the visitors a chance to reduce the score.

The visiting captain Kamil Sekuła took the spot-kick and sent Marcin Obyrtacz the wrong way to get his side back into the game.

Iskra Level The Game

Despite the Dragoons fine start, a series of errors led to Iskra equalising the score in the 19th minute.

Emre Bezirkan went down far too easily in the far corner, gifting possession to the visitors. A loose pass from Ambrosie sold Szczesnowicz short and the Aussie slid into tackle, but could not win the ball. Bartłomiej Pasierbek took advantage and sprinted past Simon Calabrese’s wild lunge, leaving his team short at the back.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Pass and Move — Mark Szczesnowicz leading by example in the centre of the park

Pasierbek made use of the space and hit a firmly struck shot at goal. Obyrtacz flew to his right, however the Dragoons keeper did not get a great connection on the ball and it squirmed into the air off his glove and into the net. A truly painstaking moment for the Dragoons who had played the better football so far.

The goal seemed to deflate the Dragoons confidence, but the side continued to gain forward momentum. Both sides nullified the other as a battle of wits played out for domination of the midfield. A water break in the 25th minute gave the Expats a chance to refocus.

A nice passage of football saw Ambrosie show a neat change of pace to get past his man. The Romanian played a lovely pass into the feet of Chowaniec, who won a corner for his side.

Robert Ambrosie of Krakow Dragoons FC
Advanced Ambrosie — The Dragoons energetic full-back finds himself free and in a crossing position on the right wing

Off The Post!

Forabosco floated the corner to the far post and Dawson ran from deep to make a good connection with his head. The English defender thought he scored, however, his effort from six yards cannoned back off the post. A boot to the face caused further misery for the big man, who stayed down for a short period.

Josh Dawson being assisted by Hugo Cruz at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
A Hiding to Nothing — Hugo Cruz looks through his magic medicine bag to aid Dawson after a boot to the face

Iskra struggled to move the ball about and looked for hopeful long balls forward. One such time saw Dawson standardly win the aerial duel, heading towards Forabosco. The midfield magician gleefully flicked the ball forward, expertly finding the charge of Chandran. The Indian whirlwind sent the ball on the half volley towards the back post. Barry Chowaniec looked favourite to win the ball, but it bounced up awkwardly off the turf and spun off his leg and into the grateful grasp of Kisielewski.

Bartek Chowaniec dominates the ball inside the opponents area at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
A Nasty Bounce — The ball bobbled awkwardly off of the turf to prevent Barry from scoring a third for the Expats

It proved to be the last real chance of the half as the sides went into the break even. The Dragoons had played some of their best football this season and dominated the play. Sadly, two goals in two minutes had seen the lead evaporate and the visitors on level terms.

Second Half

In the 48th minute, Dawson intercepted the ball and sent a pass to start a swift counter through Chowaniec. The Pole laid the ball back into the path of Chandran, who attempted a shot at goal. However, strong defending by Iskra saw the effort blocked away.

Rohit Chandran of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Dribble Wizard — Rohit Chandran chops an opponent to open up a shooting opportunity

The Dragoons continued to knock the ball around beautifully, but the next chance came through a more robust style.

On The Volley

Dawson whacked the ball forward out of defence. Forabosco delicately flicked it forward straight into the path of Bezirkan. The Turkish forward nodded the ball back into the path of the Italian midfielder. Forabosco pulled back his left foot and caught the ball beautifully on the volley, but saw his effort go narrowly over the target.

A double attacking change by the Dragoons saw Andrea Latino enter the game with Rob Smits. Szymon Urzędowski and Emre Bezirkan made way.

Penalty Dragoons!!!

Just two minutes after the change the Dragoons won a penalty of their own. Man-mountain Dawson stood strong to deny a counter-attack on the half-way line. He came forward, looked up and played a pass out to the right to find the feet of Chowaniec. The Pole turned and using Ambrosie’s run as a decoy burst forward. He accelerated past two challenges to get into the box, before being sent tumbling by a trip.

An easy decision for the referee gave the Dragoons a glorious chance to score. Michał Nowak stepped up to take the penalty for the Expats, looking to make amends for conceding the foul for Iskra’s first goal.

The full-back scored a hat-trick of penalties last season against Albertus, but this time missed. Kisielewski read the Pole’s tame effort and got down low to save the shot with consummate ease.

Iskra Krzęcin's goalkeeper dives right and saves a penalty kick vs Krakow Dragoons FC
Saved — Adrian Kisielewski guesses right to make a simple save from Nowak’s penalty kick

Despite the miss, the Dragoons still looked to create chances. A lovely pass from Forabosco found Chandran out wide. The Indian laid the ball off for Smits who saw his run into the box checked by a defender. The Dutchmeester passed back to Chandran who spun past a tackle and shot at goal. A deflection off a defender’s studs took the pace off the effort, making an easy save for Kisielewski.

Rob Smits of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
The Dutchmeester — Rob Smits gets involved in the play down the left after his introduction as substitute

Danger for the Expats

Iskra showed they could be a dangerous opponent moments later. A long kick from Kisielewski landed at the feet of Sekuła. The forward showed a nice touch, before arrowing a pass into the path of Ziarko. The Iskra man sprinted into the box, cut past Ambrosie tracking back and found himself on goal. Obyrtacz closed the gap well and Ziarko seemed to panic and misjudge his shot. The ball bobbled straight into Obyrtacz, who clutched it into his body to deny the chance.

More Misery for Michał

A rare poor pass from Dawson saw Iskra gifted possession just outside the Expats box with 70 minutes played. Arek Czwartek swivelled to evade the attentions of Smits and Szczesnowicz to play a pass towards Sekuła in the box. However, before the attacker could touch the ball, Nowak came charging back and brought Sekuła down.

Michał Nowak throws in a ball into the direction of Rob Smits in Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Down the Line — Nowak looks to keep the Dragoons ticking with a long throw

The referee pointed to the spot for a third time, compounding a bad day at the office for Nowak. Despite doing his best Bruce Grobelaar impression, Obyrtacz could not put off Pasierbek. The attacker nonchalantly stroked the ball into the corner of the net for his second and Iskra’s third goal of the game.

Having been the better side the Dragoons now found themselves behind in the encounter for the first time.

The Expats looked a little deflated, but found the inner strength to come back fighting. Dawson picked out Chandran out on the left flank. The Indian wing-wizard showed his ability, waltzing off of the flank towards the edge of the box. He laced a powerful shot at goal but failed to trouble the goalkeeper.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
She Fell Over — Rohit Chandran looks to find Błażej Święcicki who comically fell on his arse a second after the photo

10 Minutes of Ceri

Moments after, Simon Calabrese, who had gone down injured previously, made way for Ceri Looker. Iskra had began to run the clock down in an attempt to frustrate the Expats, but still the side pushed to level the game.

A long-throw by Nowak arrowed towards the front post. An Iskra defender headed the ball backwards and it went into the side-netting for a corner.

Michał Nowak of Krakow Dragoons FC giving indications to his team mates before a thrown-in
The Missile Launcher — Nowak’s long-throw is an oft used weapon in the Dragoons armoury

Bend It Like Looker

Forabosco’s initial corner went straight to the first man, who sliced the ball back out of play. The second corner came flying into the box and just missed Chowaniec’s head. Looker battled hard to track the ball in possession of an opponent by the edge of the box.

Great battling saw a poor attempted clearance hit Chandran and fall kindly to the English giant. Looker showed tremendous footwork to get round his man and whipped in a cross that Beckham would be proud of. Barry Chowaniec had barely moved from the spot of his missed header in the box and that decision paid dividends. The ball arched perfectly in his direction and the striker nodded it back across goal into the net. A deserved equaliser and the Polish striker’s sixth strike of the season.

Bartek Chowaniec of Krakow Dragoons FC jumps inside the area unmarked and heads the ball into the back of the net vs Iskra Krzęcin
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLL — Barry gets a firm head to Looker’s cross, planting the ball past the keeper and into the net
Bartek Chowaniec and Enrico Forabosco of Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal vs Iskra Krzęcin
Celebrations — Enrico Forabosco celebrates Barry’s equalising goal

Not long after the goal, great defending from Ambrosie saved a goalscoring chance. The Romanian positioned himself brilliantly to cut off the run of Ziarko. The Iskra man barged into the back of the right-back, which sadly ended his game. The visiting bench led protestations as they believed the foul to be the other way around!

Iskra continued to press as the game became ragged. A long ball forward saw Szczesnowicz come across to concede a corner. The ball crossed the Expats’ box but somehow a headed effort from six yards went over.

Red Card!!!

Further controversy struck in injury time as the Dragoons saw Ceri Looker given a straight red. A wayward pass saw the ball hoofed forward into the Expats half. Looker appeared to catch an opponent just inside his own half with an outstretched arm as he chased after the ball.

The referee deemed the Englishman to have conceded a professional foul and produced the red card. An eventful ten-minute cameo for the towering utilityman.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Dragoons continued to look for a winner. Nowak threw long and picked out Chowaniec. The forward got to the by-line and attempted to pick out Latino, but a defender blocked the pass and smacked the ball up field.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Iskra Krzęcin
Pull Back — Barry’s last gasp attempt to pick out Andrea Latino is cut out by a defender

No real chances for either side followed and an entertaining game came to an end. Despite being the underdogs the Dragoons looked like the side leading the title challenge.

Iskra struggled to get their dangermen into the game and much credit must go to the Expats. A slight change in the line up saw a steady midfield dominate the game. The Dragoons pressed excellently and won a number of second balls to maintain possession. The result leaves the Expats in 9th place, six points below their next opponent.

Next Up

The Dragoons travel to deepest, darkest Nowa Huta for their next fixture against KS Wanda Kraków. Formed in 1948, Wanda shares their 8000-capacity stadium with Kraków’s speedway side. The club has reached as high as the third division, but in more recent times flitted between Klasa A & B.

Wanda currently finds themselves 6th in the table with 13 points. They have won four times, drawn once and lost twice. They are joint second top scorers in the league and come into the game on a high after a 4-1 victory over Strzelcy Kraków.

Posted on Text: Dave Burch Photography: Alex Băcica Visual Editing: Daniel Silva


99Marcin Obyrtacz (pol)
2Josh Dawson (eng)
5Simon Calabrese (ita) 27
7Michał Nowak (pol)
8Enrico Forabosco (fin/ita)
11Rohit Chandran (ind) 2'
21Robert Ambrosie (rou) 94 55'
23Mark Szczesnowicz (pol/aus)
44Bartek Chowaniec (pol) 6', 84'
61Emre Bezirkan (tur) 24
97Szymon Urzędowski (pol) 25
1Gabriel Muñoz (chi)
20Daniel Silva (por)
24Andrea Latino (ita) 61
25Rob Smits (ned) 97
27Ceri Looker (eng) 5 89'
35Emre Çolakoğlu (tur)
94Błażej Święcicki (pol) 21


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