Dragoons 3-4 Dąbski: Opening Day Defeat

Krakow Dragoons FC starting 11 vs Dąbski
Dragoons Dragoons
Dąbski Dąbski
Sun, 28 Aug 2022 15:00 Klasa A — Week 1
KS Prądniczanka Kraków


Opening Day Defeat

It has been a long wait, however the start of the 22/23 season has arrived! The Dragoons started their A Klasa campaign against Dąbski Kraków this weekend. Whilst the Expats are one of the newest teams to compete in the division, Dąbski are one of the oldest. Established in 1921, our opponents finished in 3rd place last season and will be looking to go for promotion this time around.

Kitted out in their new white shirts, the Expats made a host of changes following the cup exit on penalties to Rafis Kraków.

Dragoons lineup vs Dąbski

Krakow Dragoons FC starting 11 vs Dąbski
The Dragoons debut starting XI in A Klasa: Chowaniec, Calabrese, Lemmen, Muñoz, Nowak, Bezirkan (top, left to right) and Szczesnowicz, Forabosco, Urzędowski, Chandran, Hajnrych (bottom, left to right)

Kick Off!

The match started in a lively fashion and Enrico Forabosco had the first shot of the game within the first minute. Good work from Rohit Chandran down the left wing, saw the Indian pull the back into the midfield for Forabosco. The Italian took a touch to set himself and then sent a swerving left-footed effort wide of the post.

Four minutes into the contest, and the Expats had the first shot on target. Michał Nowak threw the ball long from just inside the Dąbski half and found Emre Bezirkan. The Turkish forward found space to shoot, but hit his effort straight at Jakub Wolnicki in the visitors goal.

Moments after a corner kick for the visitors produced their first scoring chance. Andrzej Kwaśniewski rose highest to meet the ball, but could only send his header wide of the goal.

Down the other end, a delightful pass from Mark Szczesnowicz saw Emre Bezirkan through on goal. Bezirkan finished with aplomb, however a flag raised by the referee’s assistant cancelled out an early goal for the Dragoons.

Just a moment after, Barry Chowaniec used his pace to get beyond the last man. With a defender breathing down his neck, the Dragoons forward lost his footing and diverted the ball off target.

Dąbski Break The Deadlock

Dąbski opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Michał Nowak ran into trouble with two opponents closing the full-back down. Marek Podgajny expertly exploited the space beyond the Dragoons backline and sent a beautiful cross to find Artur Turczyk at the far post. The visiting striker made no mistake, heading the ball into the turf and beyond Muñoz into the net.

Immediate Response!!

The Dragoons immediately responded with a goal of their own just a minute later. A long ball forward down the right wing found Chowaniec. The Polish national beat the full-back with ease and pulled the ball back towards the waiting Bezirkan. The Turk managed to get the slightest of touches to prod the goal into the net for the equaliser.

Dragoons Into The Lead

Into the 19th minute, the Expats scored their second goal to go 2-1 into the lead. A nice run from Forabosco saw the midfielder enter the box and win a corner. The Italian swung the ball into the box and found the head of Chowaniec. The Pole made a firm connection and sent the ball into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance to save. The goal saw Chowaniec notch his second competitive goal for the club.

A common cliché in football is you are most vulnerable just after you have scored. That almost became the case a second time in the game as Dąbski came perilously close to an instant riposte to falling behind. A quick attack saw the visitors break the offside trap. Fortunately for the Dragoons, Brian Lemmen came across to deny Turczyk a tap-in, blasting the ball just over his own bar in the process.

The following corner saw Calabrese bravely challenge in the air, with the ball falling kindly into Muñoz’s arms.

A couple of minutes later, another corner for Dąbski came close to an equalising goal. Turczyk sent an inviting ball into the box, which just missed an attacking header and forced Calabrese to poke behind for a second corner.

On this occasion, the ball went across goal and landed at the feet of Chandran. The Indian broke out of his own box and punted the ball forward to Bezirkan to start a counter-attack. Sadly, the Turk dithered in possession before making a poor pass and the move broke down.

Barry Leading The Way

Chowaniec continued to be a thorn in the Dąbski backline. The attacker intelligently spun a defender before breaking forward to win a corner.

Forabosco curled the ball into the box and Bezirkan came inches from connecting with a header. The danger remained however, as Simon Calabrese reacted quickest to the loose ball in the box and saw his shot diverted wide.

A second Forabosco corner came across the area and this time, Calabrese sent a volleyed effort inches past the post. The Dragoons faithful in the stands thought it had gone in!

Into the 35th minute, Emre Bezirkan spurned a huge chance to further increase the lead. Great work on the right flank once again by Chowaniec saw the forward speed past the left-back. Similar to the Dragoons first goal, Chowaniec pulled the ball back, however Bezirkan showed little composure as he blasted it off target with the goal begging.

Forabosco Fantastico

Not to be denied, the Expats domination paid dividends in the 37th minute with a third goal. Chandran took possession of the ball on the left wing and went on a dazzling run leaving two defenders trailing. The mercurial attacker looked up and threaded a perfect pass to find Enrico Forabosco. With just the keeper to beat, the Italian magician waved his wand like left foot and the net rippled.

With 42 minutes on the clock, Forabosco again went close from a free-kick. Despite being in an awkward position close to the corner flag, the Italian whipped the ball at goal and forced Wolnicki to palm over his own goal.

Holding On!

A late rally from the visitors almost reduced the deficit before half-time. Michał Nowak cleared away a dangerous pass across goal to breakdown a goalscoring chance. The following corner saw the ball float to the far post, where Chandran bravely blocked a shot. Dąbski recycled the ball out wide and won a free-kick after a lazy foul by Chowaniec.

The set-piece found Karol Szot unmarked, however the Dąbski captain could not take advantage and sent a strong header over the bar.

Shortly after, the referee blew the whistle to bring the half to an end. The Dragoons had played some nice football and proved worthy of their 3-1 lead.

Dragoons vs Dąbski half-time result (3-1)

Second Half

Dąbski came straight at the Dragoons after the break and won a free-kick on the edge of the box. A whipped ball into the Expat’s area saw Muñoz come off his line to punch the danger clear.

Disaster For Nowak

It did not take long for the visitors to reduce the deficit in the 52nd minute however. A long ball forward saw Nowak facing his own goal and under pressure from a Dąbski attacker. The full-back looked to smash the ball away from danger, but instead hit the ball straight into the air towards his own goal. With Muñoz advanced off his line, the ball agonisingly bounced once before nestling into the top of the net under the crossbar. A disastrous moment for the Expats!

Enter Nkola

The Expats reacted with making their first change of the afternoon. Flavio Nkola came onto the pitch with Nowak departing. Rohit Chandran switched from left-wing to fill the right-back void that had been left by Nowak’s departure.

Nkola looked to get immediately involved, and saw his first foray forward broken by a foul. A dangerous ball into the box from Forabosco saw Wolnicki punch the ball straight into the face of a defender and out for a throw.

Dąbski looked to have upped the ante and the Expats could not get a foothold in the game. Continuous pressure from the visitors saw them target the Dragoons right flank.

An injury saw Simon Calabrese go down clutching his leg. The defender had to make his way off the pitch for treatment as the Expats temporarily went down to ten men.

The opponents sniffed blood as they mercilessly hunted down the Expats. A third goal did not take long to come, however poor play from the Dragoons lead to their own downfall.


Captain Mark Szczesnowicz, playing as the last man in Calabrese’s absence looked to play a pass to Forabosco that Dąbski easily cut out. Marek Podgajny took full advantage, breaking forward on goal with just Muñoz to beat. The Dąbski number nine showed excellent footwork to bamboozle the Dragoons custodian and equalised the score to 3-3 with 62 minutes played.

Ash Asani reacted immediately with a triple substitution to try and change the Expats fortunes. Joaquin Serrano, Ceri Looker and Alexey Zelenkin all entered the fray, with Bezirkan, Urzędowski and the injured Calabrese making way.

Chowaniec, now playing in a central attacking role, looked to breach the Dąbski defence. A poorly timed tackle saw a free-kick given for the Expats.

Forabosco sent a teasing ball into the box and Chowaniec reacted quickest. The Polish attacker got a good head to the ball and saw his effort loop just over the crossbar.

The Expat changes seemed to breath fresh vigour into the side, however Dąbski continued to look dangerous.

Muñoz Stands Strong

Podgajny once again proved to be a thorn in the side, as he got in behind Chandran and in on goal. Muñoz stood strong to deny the Dąbski forward, getting down well to his near post to push a fierce shot wide.

With twenty minutes to play, the Spanish sensation Joaquin Serrano cut in nicely from the wing. The winger struck an effort from range, but lacked the power to trouble to keeper.

So Close!!

The Dragoons began to keep the ball better and a foul on Ceri Looker stopped the Englishman picking out an attacking run. Forabosco, 30 metres from goal lined up the set-piece. The Italian sent a delicious, curling effort at goal that beat Wolnicki, but struck the woodwork. The ball bobbled back into play and an off balance Nkola blasted the rebound into oblivion.

Almost straight away, Podgajny brushed off the attentions of Chandran to cut in on his right foot. The visiting forward found space on the edge of the box and sent a shot whistling just past the post.

A quick counter saw Chowaniec run into space on Dąbski’s left flank. The striker looked to have too many options on, and rather than a simple pass for Serrano to tap home, misplaced his pass straight to the keeper.

Dąbski Re-Take The Lead

With the Expats attack stopped, the visitors broke forward and went ahead for the second time in the match in the 77th minute to bring the score to 3-4. With the Dragoons looking a little ragged, a simple long pass breached the midfield and backline. Krzysztof Wojniak took advantage of the space offered to him, racing forward and sending a firmly struck effort past on the onrushing Muñoz.

With the visitors in the lead, the Expats had it all to do. A series of clever fouls by Dąbski frustrated the Dragoons, with the opposition showing their experience in slowing the game down.

Forabosco had a sighter at goal in the 80th minute from one such free-kick. On this occasion, the Italian floated the ball straight into the grasp of Wolnicki.


Moments after, Chowaniec looked to be chopped down in the penalty area. Nkola continued with the ball, cleverly nutmegging a defender before seeing a shot blocked. The ball went up in the air and Forabosco nodded it off of a defender and wide. Further frustration appeared as the officials pointed for a goal-kick.

Fired up, the invigorated Expats continued to pour forward. Chandran showed excellent energy to race into the Dąbski box and get a shot on goal. Wolnicki stood strong to push the ball to a safe area and the visitors cleared the danger away.

Bartek Chowaniec continued to be a thorn for Dąbski and an excellent turn looked as if he would be free in the box. A tackle from a Dąbski defender halted the Pole’s progress and the referee waved away the Expats appeals for a penalty.


A late attack saw a Dąbski forward move end with a shot hit harmlessly wide. Straight down the other half of the pitch, the Dragoons went forward. An excellent through ball saw Chowaniec race on goal and on this occasion, he rounded Wolnicki and the keeper clipped his heels.

The referee had little option but to award the Dragoons a spot kick, deep into injury time.

Flavio Nkola stepped up to give the Expats the chance to gain an equaliser and unlikely point at the death. Frustratingly, the Angolan hit a tame penalty, passing the ball to the left, which Wolnicki saved with ease.

It proved to be the last kick of the match as Dąbski surrounded Wolnicki in celebration of winning their first three points of the campaign at the Dragoons expense. Once again a missed penalty proving costly for the Expats!

Dragoons vs Dąbski full-time result (3-4)

We Go Again!

A tale of two halves, a twenty-five minute spell of the second half saw the Dragoons unable to keep the ball. Attacks through the middle broke down and the Expats struggled to find the width that worked well in the first half.

Dąbski on the other hand showed their experience to frustrate the Expats, closing down quickly, dominating the midfield as well as finding joy in exploiting the Dragoons back-line. Whilst a disappointing result, there is more to come from the Expats.

Next week the side travel to Zwierzyniecki Kraków, which will be another tough fixture. Zwierzyniecki finished fourth last season and go into the game on the back of a 3-2 victory away at Wanda Kraków.

We hope to see as many supporters as possible as the Dragoons will look to battle for their first three points of the season.

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


1Gabriel Muñoz (chi)
5Simon Calabrese (ita) 3
6Brian Lemmen (ned) 35
7Michał Nowak (pol) 10
8Enrico Forabosco (fin/ita) 37'
11Rohit Chandran (ind)
19Piotr Hajnrych (pol)
23Mark Szczesnowicz (pol/aus)
44Bartek Chowaniec (pol) 20'
61Emre Bezirkan (tur) 17 14'
97Szymon Urzędowski (pol) 27
3Alexey Zelenkin (blr) 5
10Flavio Nkola (ang) 7
17Joaquin Serrano (esp) 61
18Edoardo Battaglion (ita)
26Temo Loladze (geo)
27Ceri Looker (eng) 97
35Emre Çolakoğlu (tur) 6


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