Dragoons Lead The Way
The Dragoons second home game of the season took place on Sunday against B Klasa league leaders Victoria.
Fixtures against Victoria are never easy for the Expats and always a strong physical battle. A quick start to the game saw the away side looking to play long balls to the flanks.
The first real chance of the game fell to Victoria. The Dragoons gifted possession to the visitors and Krzysztof Wojciechowski sent a dipping shot that Muñoz collected at the second attempt.
It did not take too much longer for the first goal of the day to arrive in the 7th minute.
The Expats Open The Scoring
The Dragoons capitalised from a poor throw in and Enrico Forabosco threaded a perfect through pass for Emre Bezirkan. The Turkish forward timed his run well and slot the ball beyond Marcin Strączek only to see his shot bounce off the post. Bezirkan reacted quickly to follow up on his initial effort to score his first goal in the blue jersey.
Into the 12th minute, the Dragoons came close to extending their lead. Sloppy defending by the visitors again presented the Expats with a chance for Forabosco. The Italian let fly from the edge of the box and saw Strączek dive to his right and punch the ball clear.
Moments later, Michał Nowak latched onto a throw from Forabosco and Strączek came off his line quickly to deny the full-back with another save.
Victoria had a great chance to equalise in the 16th minute. A long ball into the box fell to the feet of Paweł Ptaszek, however the burly frontman dragged his effort wide.
Two minutes later saw a moment of controversy. The referee waved for play-on after a foul in the box. With the advantage wasted the Victoria team hounded the referee and Wojciechowski found himself booked for his protestations.
Just a moment after his booking, the red mist descended once again with Wojciechowski clattering into the back of Nowak. The Victoria frontman left the referee with an easy decision to present a second yellow card and Wojciechowski headed off for an early bath.
Spot Kick Drama
Despite being down to 10 men, Victoria began to claw their way into the game.
In the 30th minute, a Victoria long-throw into the box caused havoc in the Dragoons backline. Muñoz missed the ball and the defence could not clear their lines. Gonçalo Rodrigues attempted to block a shot from Michał Białkowski and tripped the winger, just as he looked to pull the trigger. The referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Łukasz Chudy stepped up to take the kick. Muñoz got a hand to the resulting spot-kick but could not keep the ball out of the net for the equalising goal.
Into the 36th minute, the Dragoons nearly took the lead for a second time. Spanish sensation Joaquin Serrano expertly drew three defenders out of position and launched a powerful effort at goal. Strączek showed strong wrists to keep the ball out and the subsequent rebound was blasted skywards by Battaglion.
Minutes afterwards a long ball forward presented Bialkowski a chance, however the winger rushed his shot and sent the ball wide.
Dragoons Go Close
The Dragoons spurned an excellent chance to take the lead in the 42nd minute. A deep cross into the box by Mark Szczesnowicz was not dealt with by the Victoria defence and Battaglion headed forward to Nkola. The Angolan looked certain to score from 6 metres, however saw his effort saved at point blank range by Strączek.
As the half drew to a close Nkola again went close and dragged his shot wide. The referee blew his whistle shortly afterwards with the Dragoons struggling to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The Dragoons came out the blocks at lightning speed and created an early chance from a corner. Forabosco’s floated ball found the head of Bezirkan, however the forward could not hit the target.
One minute later, the Turkish forward made no mistake with his next chance. Michał Nowak hit a low pass towards Bezirkan, who expertly spun Dąbrowski and hit a first-time effort past Strączek for 2-1.
It was nearly three almost straight from the kick-off. Serrano found space of the right-hand side and struck a fierce effort into the side netting.
Bezirkan had a great chance for his hat-trick in the 52nd minute, as the Dragoons poured forward. A quick free-kick from Nkola saw Forabosco cross into the box. Bezirkan had all of the goal to aim for but could not find the target with his header.
The Dragoons came close again just moments later with Strączek denying Nkola and Serrano hit a vicious effort just wide.
Sloppy defending from Victoria gave the Dragoons another chance to extend their lead in the 55th minute. Nkola broke through and played a smart one-two with Bezirkan. The forward worked the ball onto his right foot and hit a low shot that Strączek got down well to keep out.
Victoria had their first real chance of the half through Mateusz Lasoń. The substitute controlled the ball well, but could only blast his effort over the bar.
Not much longer afterwards, the Dragoons gifted a couple of set pieces to Victoria from shooting range. The first chance hit the Dragoons wall, however the second free-kick caused more of a problem. Sebastian Sikora stepped with a sweet curling effort that hit the top of the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
Rob Smits entered the fray for his first league appearance of the season in the 60th minute and nearly made an immediate impact. The Dragoons countered quickly through Samyonov, who burst through the Victoria half. The Israeli played the ball just behind Bezirkan who touched it forward for Smits to hit. The Dutchman hit a clean effort at goal, but yet again Strączek stood tall to push the ball wide.
The introduction of Samyonov and Smits breathed fresh life into the Dragoons and the Expats began to create chance after chance.
Samyonov had an excellent opportunity to make it 3-1 in the 69th minute. Forabosco picked up the ball just inside the Victoria half and played an exquisite through ball to Samyonov. The Israeli bore down on goal but could not find the finish with Strączek diverting the ball wide.
The Flying Dutchman
From the following corner, Forabosco’s ball into the box was met by Smits, who planted his headed into the net to further extend the Dragoons lead to 3-1.
Smits had a chance for his second goal in a Dragoons shirt soon after. The midfielder sprayed the ball wide to Forabosco on the right flank. A glorious cross picked out the late darting run into the box from the Dutchman who hit a first-time effort just wide.
Not to be denied, Smits made no mistake with his next opportunity in the 72nd minute. Victoria opted to try and play their way out of trouble at the back and gifted the ball to the Dragoons. Forabosco delightfully passed to Samyonov who broke into the box. The Israeli unselfishly squared to Smits who tapped the ball beyond Strączek to bring the score to 4-1.
Straight from kick-off the Dragoons had another chance after turning over possession. Substitute Błażej Święcicki burst forward and played a neat one-two with Samyonov. The Polish forward cut the ball back to Samyonov on the edge of the box, however the wingman dragged his shot wide.
Blazed Against the Post!
The Dragoons continued creating chances and became extremely profligate in front of goal. Święcicki had another wonderful chance to grab his first goal of the season. Battaglion put a great low cross into the box which the grounded Samyonov nudged to the Polish attacker. Święcicki hit a first-time effort straight at Strączek and then somehow slammed the rebound against the post.
It was not to be Święcicki’s day as another chance came and went. Good work from Nkola on the wing found the Pole in the box with a fizzing cross. Święcicki swung a foot at the ball and somehow managed to send it out for a throw-in from six metres out.
Moments later Samyonov latched onto Święcicki’s knock-down and spurned another glorious chance. The Israeli had perhaps too much time as he completely missed the target right in front of goal.
Samyonov made amends for the miss in the 86th minute, bringing the score to 5-1. Dragoons’ debutant Martin Voženílek came onto the field and turned provider in his first action of the game.
The Czech wide-man sent in a low, left footed cross which found Samyonov lurking at the far post. The Israeli forward grabbed his fourth goal of the season driving the ball beyond Strączek and into the net.
Taxi for Święcicki
The final act of the game saw another comedy moment provided by the fans favourite Święcicki. Samyonov cleverly back-heeled to Forabosco, who once again supplied an inch perfect return pass to put Samyonov in on goal. The attacker rolled a pass for Święcicki to tap home from six metres, however the forward misread his lines. Święcicki unbelievably managed to make no contact, missing the ball completely with the goal at his mercy.
It proved to be the final chance on a baking hot day, with the referee bringing an end to the game shortly after.
The Dragoons improved no end in the second half, attacking on the front-foot to put Victoria under pressure time and time again. The result puts the Dragoons at the top of the B Klasa summit ahead of a tough away fixture to Pychowianka next week. This will be the fourth official rendezvous between the sides, with the Expats securing an important 2-0 win at home in their last encounter.