The Dragoons five match unbeaten run ended with an absolute thumping on Sunday afternoon. KS Wanda had fallen foul to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Expats in the reverse fixture, however they gained a cruel revenge this weekend.
After four games in just 10 days, the Dragoons went into the match with a depleted squad. Michał Nowak gave the side a boost by returning from injury to reclaim the left back berth. Szymon Urzędowski moved into midfield to replace the injured skipper Mark Szczesnowicz. Defender Kuba Drobny received a broken nose on Tuesday against Tramwaj and therefore missed out as Josh Dawson returned from suspension to partner Simon Calabrese at the back.
Rohit Chandran also missed the game through injury and saw his place taken by Jamie Beattie.
The injury woes worsened in the warm up as Barry Chowaniec went down and had to be replaced in the line up by Yuri Samyonov.
The game kicked off to a lightning start. With just a minute on the clock, Jamie Beattie controlled the ball in the middle and laid a beautiful pass for Enrico Forabosco to run onto. The Italian went into a foot race with Wanda keeper Michał Bartyzel to see who would get there first. Forabosco slid into the ball to try and put it past the keeper, however, the advanced Wanda custodian got down to save.
Wanda went straight down the other end and a foul by Francesco Leuci saw the first yellow card produced. The subsequent shot from range saw Marcin Obyrtacz get down well, pushing the ball away from danger. A first save of many for the Dragoons Polish stopper!
As the game progressed, the visitors began to dominate the early stages. The Dragoons defended stoutly however, with Wanda struggling to get through and resorting to wild shots from range.
On 14 minutes, Enrico Forabosco received the ball in the midfield and travelled forward. The Italian launched a beautifully struck shot from range, but Bartyzel stood strong, stretching to save the attempt.
Persistence Pays Off
Three minutes later, and the first goal of the game arrived for the Dragoons. Great pressing on Bartyzel by Jamie Beattie saw the keeper miscue his clearance straight to Alessandro Puerini. The Italian assassin gobbled up the chance, taking a touch and finishing to make it 1-0 for the Expats. A 17th goal in 17 appearances for the Dragoons leading top marksman.
High pressing again caused Wanda no end of troubles in the 21st minute. A misplaced pass found Puerini outside of the box. The Italian could not find his balance on this occasion, and he hit a daisy cutter straight at Bartyzel.
The visitors had a great chance to equalise on 23 minutes. Damian Klimek got in behind the Dragoons defence, having beaten the offside trap. Klimek dithered with the ball, which allowed Obyrtacz time to close the gap and save the incoming shot. From the following corner, Wanda played it short and a rasping effort zipped just past Obyrtacz’s far post.
You Don’t Save Those…
On 29 minutes, Wanda scored quite an exquisite equaliser to level the score at 1-1. With the pressure mounting, the Dragoons struggled to clear away a corner. A shot from close range ended up being a tremendous pass out wide. The visitors hung a deep cross towards the back post and Jakub Kwiecień met the ball with a volley. Kwiecień connected perfectly to send an unstoppable effort past Obyrtacz and into the net.
Five minutes later, Yuri Samyonov dropped his shoulder beautifully to beat a defender and get into the box. The Israeli arrowed a low shot towards the far corner, however, Bartyzel got down to deny the chance.
Wanda Take The Lead
The Wanda keeper launched a kick up field and the Dragoons defence stood like statues as Kwiecień flicked the ball on. Damian Klimek took advantage to run through on goal and lobbed the ball over the stranded Obyrtacz to put his side 2-1 into the lead.
A disastrous moment almost saw the Dragoons concede a third in the 40th minute. Josh Dawson saw his back pass to Obyrtacz cut out by Kwiecień. The Wanda attacker rounded Obyrtacz, however, he inexplicably smacked the post with the goal gaping. A real moment of fortune for the Expats!
Not long after, the Dragoons came forward and Puerini received a pass on the edge of the box. The Italian did well to hold off the attentions of the permatanned “The Rock” lookalike Robert Dominik, but drilled his effort wide of the goal.
Wanda Score a Third
On the stroke of half time, the Dragoons luck ran out as Wanda added a third goal. The visitors managed to breach the Dragoons back line and Salamon rounded Obyrtacz just inside the box. From a tight angle, the Wanda forward struck at goal and saw his shot drop into an empty net. The Expats complained that Klimek had touched the ball in an offside position before it went into the goal, however, the officials waved away the protests and the whistle blasted to end the half.
It had been a difficult half for a depleted Dragoons side. They had struggled to keep possession and therefore failed to really trouble the Wanda goal. Whilst the high press put the visitors under pressure, they had begun to have joy exploiting the Expats back line with pace. The Dragoons had been keeping a good defensive line for most of the half, but as the ball kept coming back they baulked under the pressure.
The Expats came out of the traps quickly and came close to grabbing a goal back almost immediately into the second period. Josh Dawson played a delightful clipped pass to find Forabosco in space on the left flank. The midfield magician burst into the corner of the box and saw his shot roll across goal and agonisingly wide of the post.
Just five minutes into the second half and the Dragoons injury curse struck once again. On this occasion, Francesco Leuci went down off the ball clutching his knee. The stricken full back had to be replaced by Andrea Latino and the Expats had an enforced formation change to deal with.
Dragoons Live Dangerously
From a Dragoons corner, Wanda went straight down the other end on the counter. Within seconds the visitors found their way into the Dragoons box and Obyrtacz came to the rescue to save Kwiecień’s low drive. The rebound looked like an easy tap in, however, Simon Calabrese got to the ball first and smashed it over his own bar.
On the hour mark, the Dragoons won a free-kick on the edge of the Wanda box, after Beattie saw an attempted pass cut out by a hand. Forabosco lined up the set-piece and curled the ball millimetres wide of the target.
As the half progressed, the game became stretched. The Dragoons poured men forward in search of a goal back into the game and Wanda looked to counter to exploit the Dragoons back line. One such moment saw really nice build up play from the Dragoons with Puerini laying a pass into Latino. Under pressure from the Wanda defence, Latino managed to get a shot off, but it ran tamely through to Bartyzel.
Down the other end, the visitors broke the offside trap in a rapid attack. Once again Martin Obyrtacz saved his side with a strong hand to deny Wanda a fourth goal.
Wanda Increase Their Lead
The Dragoons had been living dangerously and a fourth goal eventually came in the 63rd minute. The Expats tried passing forward, but an interception on the halfway line looped over the advanced Dawson’s head and into Klimek’s path. The Wanda forward entered the box, cut onto his left foot and launched a powerful effort into the top corner of the net. Obyrtacz stood no chance to save as the visitors went 4-1 ahead.
Almost immediately, the Expats went on the offensive. Yuri Samyonov received a pass on the left flank and managed to find Puerini in the box. The Italian took a shot, but The Rock came across to block the goal-bound attempt wide.
Enrico Forabosco came close for the Dragoons on 68 minutes. Beattie worked a ball across the Wanda box and it fell kindly for the midfield magician who spanked a shot first time. The Italian caught the ball nicely, but sadly saw his fierce effort flew wide of the goal.
The visitors came forward once again two minutes later. A long pass over the head of Urzędowski saw the visitors again in on goal. From a tight angle, the busy Marcin Obyrtacz showed a strong hand to divert Kwiecień’s shot wide.
With 10 minutes left to play, the visitors scored the most route one goal you will likely ever see. Wanda broke the Dragoons’ high back line with ease, direct from their own goal kick to once again to get through on the Expats goal. Obyrtacz sprinted outside of the box to get to the ball ahead of Klimek. Unfortunately, it bobbled up off the stopper’s knee into the path of Jakub Kwiecień, who tucked the ball into the unguarded Dragoons net for 5-1. A real shambles of a goal to concede.
Not Another One…
Five became six minutes later, as Déjà vu struck once again with the Expats defensive line. With the Dragoons high in their own half and possession lost, Wanda utilised the pace of Damian Klimek to run onto a through pass and in on goal. Klimek showed good composure to finish past Obyrtacz to grab his hat-trick. It had become almost embarrassingly easy for Wanda as the Dragoons had seemingly capitulated.
Seven Heaven For Wanda
A shocking second half performance saw a seventh goal added on 83 minutes. It was as easy as taking a toy from a baby as the opponents gleefully notched again. A simple give & go over Nowak saw the ball worked in behind the backline and down the Dragoons left flank. A pass came across goal and Klimek raced onto the ball ahead of the defence to finish past Obyrtacz and make it 7-1. The crowd pleaded for the referee to end the game early as the Dragoons had seemingly given up.
A miracle occurred with five minutes left however, as the Dragoons won a corner. Jamie Beattie rose highest to nod a Forabosco corner towards goal. Emre Bezirkan nipped in to get a touch to put the ball into the net for 7-2.
Dragoons Score A Penalty…
The Dragoons had the last say in the game in the last minute as they added another consolatory strike. Bezirkan earned his side a penalty after having his legs swiped from underneath him in the box. Club hero Dani Silva stepped up to the kick and rolled it down the middle to score. The goal means that Portuguese is the only player to score in each of the Dragoons four seasons as an official PZPN affiliated club. A small mercy on a bad day at the office.
Following the Silva’s landmark 10th goal for the club, the final whistle blew to put the Expats out of their misery.
A woeful second half saw the Dragoons misery compounded, as they conceded a further four goals. Sadly, the side resembled a lady of the night with just how open they had been in the second period, as Wanda pummelled the Expats continuously. If it had not been for Marcin Obyrtacz, it could well have been a cricket score as the Polish stopper saved his side on multiple occasions.
The depleted Dragoons need to dust themselves down and forget about a bad day at the office. Brighter days will come for the Expats who fall into 8th place following the defeat ahead their next fixture.
An away journey sees the Dragoons travel to Strzelcy Kraków in their next game. The Dragoons strolled to a 5-1 victory the last time the sides met at Prądniczanka. A strong first half performance saw Forabosco score a penalty kick to give the Dragoons the lead. Puerini missed from the spot, but made amends later to grab a goal from a rebounded Nkola effort. Martin Voženílek marked his first appearance off the bench with a goal on the stroke of half time for a 3-0 lead. Voženílek added a fourth and Puerini grabbed the fifth as the Dragoons looked imperious in the second period. After a host of Dragoons subs, the side looked a little disjointed which allowed Strzelcy to grab a goal back.
Strzelcy are currently in 11th place in the table with 14 points. They succumbed to a third straight loss this weekend, with a 3-0 defeat against 3rd placed Zwierzyniecki. Strzelcy have won four times, drawn twice and lost 14 times so far this season. They have scored 20 goals, the lowest in the league and conceded 59 – one less than the Dragoons so far this season.
Fingers crossed, the Dragoons can put their latest performance behind them and bounce back in quick fashion.