A bright sunny day welcomed the Dragoons as they took on KS Albertus this Sunday at Nadwiślan. The Expats went into the game knowing that three points would secure a historic promotion to Klasa A!
A host of changes for the Dragoons saw Yuri Samyonov, Rohit Chandran and Scott Halcrow come into the team. Robert Ambrosie also lined up for his first start of the season, whilst Brian Lemmen, Adrian Paliś, Joaquin Serrano and Piotr Hajnrych all dropped out of the matchday squad.
The Expats charged forward immediately on the attack. Josh Dawson found himself advanced on the left and sent an early ball into the box. Albertus goalkeeper Marcin Obyrtacz, gathered the cross with ease to stop the Dragoons attack in its tracks.
An Early Lead
With just four minutes on the clock, the Dragoons scored the first goal of the game. A poor clearance by the visitors saw the ball land at the feet of Rob Smits. The Dutchmeester delicately chipped the ball over the defence for Yuri Samyonov to race onto. With Obyrtacz charging out of his goal, the Israeli forward managed to get the slightest of touches to lift the ball over the custodian’s head and into the net via the crossbar.
The Dragoons could easily have grabbed a second two minutes later. Flavio Nkola showed excellent footwork to drive into the Albertus box. The winger picked out Samyonov, who subsequently laid the ball off to Chandran. The Indian worked a shot that deflected out to Mark Szczesnowicz on the edge of the area, but the popular Aussie leaned back and once again put the lives of the swooping swallows at risk.
In the 8th minute, Forabosco hit a cross-field pass to find Nkola in space in the Albertus box. The Angolan had time, but blasted his shot straight at Obyrtacz, who pushed the ball out for a corner. Calabrese got his head to the resulting set-piece, which Chandran looked to put into the net, but the Albertus goalkeeper managed to grab the ball to deny the chance.
The Expats came forward relentlessly and Ambrosie played a divine pass to find Forabosco on the left flank. The midfield magician crossed to find Smits at the back post, who headed firmly at goal. Obyrtacz palmed to save and reacted quickly to grab the ball ahead of Samyonov, who failed to connect with the rebound.
Another chance came and went with just 10 minutes of the game played. Nkola found time and space on the left wing, crossing the ball into the path of Chandran just six metres from goal. Somehow, the dynamic attacker struck his first-time effort wide of the target.
Great passing and moving, saw Ambrosie rampage down the Dragoons right. The full-back sent in a delicious cross, however, Flavio Nkola could not open his body properly and the ball cannoned out of play off of the winger’s shin.
Still the Dragoons poured forward and once again the Expats found Obyrtacz in the way. Chandran played a defence splitting cutback into Forabosco. The Italian’s shot deflected across the box and into the path of Josh Dawson. The Englishman jigged through the box and found Nkola, who blasted a shot that the keeper spilled. Yuri Samyonov headed the loose ball back towards goal and Chandran went for a spectacular volley, but was deemed to be in an offside position.
Halcrow Heartache From the Spot
The Expats had a great opportunity to increase their lead from the spot in the 21st minute. Flavio Nkola hurdled past two tackles, only to be tripped in the box by a third attempted challenge. Scott Halcrow placed the ball in the spot, but could not convert as Obyrtacz dived to his left to save. Samyonov pounced on the rebound, but tamely hit the ball straight at the custodian to collect easily.
With the miss, Halcrow surrendered his record of never missing a penalty, but on viewing the attempt, one wonders whether he’d ever taken one previously!
After a flurry of chances, it took until the 27th minute for the next shot on goal. Enrico Forabosco hit a sweetly struck low effort, but once again Obyrtacz pushed the ball wide. Two consecutive corners came into the Albertus box, but the Dragoons could not trouble the goal.
Off the Bar!
The Dragoons continued to create chances but could not trouble the target until the 40th minute. A long pass from Ambrosie saw Forabosco stop the ball dead with his first touch. The Italian spotted Obyrtacz off his line and sent a chipped shot that beat the keeper, but not the crossbar. Samyonov looked to pounce on the rebound but could not find the touch to grab his second goal.
Forabosco had another shooting chance a moment later, after Chandran found his route to goal ended by a foul. The Italian lined up a shot, but sent his attempt flying over the crossbar.
The final chance of the half fell to Nkola, who really ought to have scored. Samyonov played the ball to the Angolan with the deftest of touches. With just Obyrtacz to beat, the wide-man laced a powerfully driven shot straight at the keeper’s midriff.
Despite creating a plethora of chances, the Expats only had one goal to their name as the sides headed into the half-time break.
The first action of the half saw the second goal arrive in the 51st minute. Smits played a lovely lofted path to release Nkola into the box. The Angolan saw three attempts all spanked straight at Obyrtacz, with the third missed effort deflecting into the path of Samyonov. The attacker took his time and gently side-footed the ball into the net for 2-0.
It did not take long for a third goal to arrive, just two minutes after the second. A corner from Forabosco found the head of Dawson on the edge of the six-yard box. The defender saw his header bobble back off of the bar, and Smits made no mistake to nod home from close range for 3-0.
A fourth goal in the space of three minutes saw the Expats lead further extended to 4-0. Chandran dazzled the Albertus defence, expertly beating four men before pulling the ball back to Samyonov. The Israeli made no mistake with his finish, grabbing a hat-trick to go level with Adrian Pailś at the top of the Expats scoring charts so far this term, notching his 17th goal of the season.
Simon Calabrese found himself booked in the 57th minute, hauling down Bartek Chowaniec as he burst through the middle of the pitch. The resulting free-kick saw Karol Kuraś blast the ball over the Dragoons bar.
A triple substitution a moment later saw Dawson, Nkola and Forabosco depart with Battaglion, Voženílek and Musiał coming onto the pitch.
Musiał almost had an immediate impact, firmly nodding a long ball into the path of Samyonov. Obyrtacz read the danger well however, quickly coming off his line to get to the ball first. However, a poor clearance by the keeper landed at the feet of Rob Smits. The Dutchmeester took a touch and hit a fizzing shot back at goal, but just wide of the target.
Samyonov made way to applause from the crowd and Emre Bezirkan took to the field as his replacement.
The Turkish forward instantly effected the game, playing a delightful pass into the path of Voženílek. The pacey winger burst down the right into the box, unselfishly putting the ball on a plate for Chandran. The Indian had an empty goal ahead of him and rolled the ball home to bring the score to 5-0.
In the 68th minute, Bezirkan found space in the Albertus half. The lofty talisman turned nicely and hit a ferocious effort at goal, but could not find the target.
After a headed effort from Musiał ballooned over, a poor goal-kick by Albertus saw possession gifted back to the Expats. Rob Smits came forward with the ball, but tamely struck straight at Obyrtacz to save with ease.
Great work by Voženílek saw the winger produce the sixth goal for the Dragoons in the 72nd minute. The Czech used his acceleration to leave the defence for dead and strolled into the box. A cut back pass found Bezirkan, who emphatically smashed the ball into the net using the outside of his boot.
Albertus looked to pull a goal back almost immediately, however Muñoz showed alertness to come off his line and deny Chowaniec a shot.
Straight down the other end, the Dragoons countered to score the seventh goal of the game. Voženílek again sprinted down the left, this time elected to shoot. The ball squirmed underneath Obyrtacz and into the path of Bezirkan. The attacker looked odds on to score, but saw a brilliant dive from a defender block the ball en route to goal. Chandran took full advantage to poke the ball into an empty net to score his second goal of the game.
The visitors took the kick-off and looked to grab an instant consolation as Kuraś sent a piledriver from range just over the bar.
Mark Szczesnowicz almost scored a great goal in the 78th minute. The tough-tackling midfielder won possession on the halfway line. Spotting a hole in the defence, the Australian burst through the Albertus backline to go through on goal. With just Obyrtacz to beat and in nosebleed territory, Szczesnowicz looked favourite to score but pulled his shot just wide of the target.
A minute later, Calabrese’s long pass put Bezirkan through on goal. With Obyrtacz darting off his line, the Turk arched to chip the ball over the custodian’s head, but tamely passed the ball to the Albertus man, who gratefully clutched the attempted shot with ease.
Calabrese made way for Temo Loladze moments after, with the Georgian making his long-awaited debut for the club.
Disaster struck for Loladze in his first real involvement of the game. The Georgian slipped as he challenged with Chowaniec on the edge of his own box. The quicksilver Albertus forward toyed with both Halcrow and Loladze, before neatly slotting the ball beyond Muñoz to grab his side a consolatory goal.
Loladze was in the thick of the action again moments later, gifting a free-kick to the visitors. Oskar Boroń stepped up, but his effort bounced straight into the arms of Muñoz to save.
With five minutes left to play, Loladze almost made amends for his earlier error. A raking pass from the Georgian found Voženílek in acres of space, who nodded into the path of Musiał. The Pole ran through on goal, but horribly shanked his shot wide of the target.
The Albertus dangerman Chowaniec again came forward, but showed too much of the ball for Loladze to intervene. A swift counter saw Voženílek released down the left, again one on one with Obyrtacz. Unfortunately, the winger failed to grab his first Dragoons goal, firing a shot straight at Albertus keeper who stood strong to save.
A foul on Bezirkan gave the Dragoons a final shooting chance on the edge of the Albertus box. Ambrosie struck his shot towards the top corner and looked to put his arms up to celebrate, only for Obyrtacz to spring to his left and pull off a fingertip save to deny the Romanian a first goal.
The final whistle sounded almost immediately after, with the Dragoons winning 7-1 and gaining promotion to Klasa A for the first time. It could easily have been double figures for the Expats as they strolled to victory.
Despite being promoted, the title remains up for grabs with Rybitwy hot on the Dragoons tail. Rybitwy remain in second place, four points behind the Expats following their 4-1 victory away at Universum.
The Expats must continue to win their remaining matches and face a familiar “frenemy” next week against Fairant. The fellow fan owned club have won their last three games, defeating Pychowianka 2-0 this weekend to go third.
The last time the sides met, Fairant took the lead in under a minute through Wojtek Miszczyk. Rob Smits blasted home an equaliser to see the sides go into the break level. A triple change at half time, saw the Dragoons race into a 3-1 lead with Nkola and Paliś coming off the bench to score. Michał Kołkowski pounced against the run of play to pull Fairant back into the game, before a poor clearance from the goalkeeper saw Smits follow up to score and end the scoring at 4-2.