3rd Round Exit
The Dragoons travelled to Bronowice on Sunday afternoon to face off against SF Fairant in the 3rd round of the Puchar Polski. It would be an opportunity for both clubs to reach the fourth round of the cup for the first time in either’s history.
The Expats made four changes to the side that overcame Juvenia Prandocin a week previous in the 2nd round.
Michael Lamb came into the side to replace Kuba Drobny at the heart of the defence. With Rob Smits, Enrico Forabosco and Mark Szczesnowicz unavailable, Emre Çolakoğlu, Rohit Chandran and Corneille Malonga completed the Expats midfield.
Club hero Błażej Święcicki started once again and donned the captain’s armband for the first time.
The first chance of the game came the way of the hosts on 3 minutes. A ball into the Dragoons box, saw the Expats struggle to clear their lines. It fell to an opponent who let fly with an effort from the edge of the box, but failed to trouble the target.
Moments later, the Dragoons went onto the counter. Salah Missi got in behind the Fairant defence down the left flank. The Algerian hung a cross towards the back post and the ball just evaded Martin Voženílek’s outstretched leg.
Into the 13th minute, Rohit Chandran found his run forward halted by a foul. Çolakoğlu took the following set-piece, however, his shot produced a comfortable save for Borowski in the Fairant goal.
Neither side could find any sort of rhythm as the first half progressed. The Dragoons had the better of the ball, with the opponents happy to sit deep.
On 33 minutes, an injury to Salah Missi saw the full-back have to go off and be replaced by Piotr Hajnrych.
Some neat passing saw the Expats create a chance on goal in the 38th minute. Yuri Samyonov picked out Çolakoğlu, however, on this occasion the Turkish national blasted his effort over the goal.
Dragoons Go Close
A minute later, the Dragoons came close to the opening goal through Błażej Święcicki. Great work from Rohit Chandran saw the Indian whirlwind take the ball past a couple of opponents. Chandran picked out Voženílek out wide and the Czech winger crossed into the Fairant box. Święcicki got on the end of the ball, volleying towards goal, but once again the Dragoons could not find the target.
The last chance of the half came the way of the Dragoons. On this occasion, substitute Hajnrych came forward, cutting inside on his unnatural right foot and having a shot. As per previous chances, the effort sailed over and the score remained 0-0.
A tense half ended shortly afterwards with the game evenly balanced. The hosts had countered on a couple of occasions but failed to trouble the Dragoons. Whilst the Expats had more of the ball, they had rarely troubled the Fairant goalkeeper.
Five minutes into the second half saw the Dragoons strike the post through Voženílek. The Expats attacker put a curling cross into the box, which beat everyone including Borowski, however, the host’s breathed a sigh of relief as the ball bounced back off the woodwork.
On 55 minutes, The Dragoons Czech national found himself at the heart of the action once again. Szymon Urzędowski found space on the right flank and sent a cross into the Fairant box. The ball bounced awkwardly on the turf and Voženílek attempted to hook a volley at goal. The effort came from his weaker foot and flew harmlessly over the target as another chance passed for the Expats.
Over The Bar
Just a minute later, the Dragoons created a fantastic chance to take the lead. Çolakoğlu showed great footwork in the box to beat a man and pulled a pass into the box. It reached Corneille Malonga, who shot first time, but like efforts before, he blazed the chance over the bar.
Sloppiness almost became the Dragoons undoing in the 58th minute as they gifted possession to Fairant. A following shot from range failed to punish the Expats’ tardiness however, flying miles wide of the target.
The Dragoons went straight on the counter-offensive down the other end. This time Malonga hit a well struck effort at goal but on this occasion however, the ball went straight at Borowski who got down well to save at the 2nd attempt.
Off The Line
On 61 minutes, the Dragoons called Borowski into action again from a corner kick. The corner came into the box and the Fairant keeper fisted the ball straight into the air. Święcicki attempted to turn the ball home, but the home side managed to clear the danger from off the line.
With the ante well and truly upped, the Dragoons came close again in the 62nd minute. The Expats managed to work the ball to Çolakoğlu who drilled a vicious shot at goal. With the ball moving in the air, Borowski showed great reflexes to get a strong hand to divert the ball over the bar.
Another chance came the way of the Dragoons on 65 minutes after a Fairant corner. The Expats broke with debutant substitute Ayoub Chardal showing a sublime touch to Michael Lamb. The Scotsman in turn found Malonga who strode forward and released Voženílek to accelerate down the Dragoons left. Voženílek put a teasing pass across goal, but just ahead of Święcicki. Chardal kept the ball in play looking to recycle it back into the danger zone, however, the hosts recovered to clear.
On 67 minutes, the hosts grabbed the opening goal, very much against the run of play. With the Dragoons high up the field, a long ball forward saw Andrzej Pierwoła attempt to breach the Expats backline.
Pierwoła entered into a footrace with the Expats defender Brian Lemmen. The Dutchman stretched to try and clear the ball, but found it just out of reach. With Lemmen grounded, the Fairant forward had a clear run at goal, knocking the ball past the stranded Muñoz and passing into an empty net for 1-0.
The goal completely stunned the Dragoons who completely lost their way after the goal. A host of substitutions had no effect as the Dragoons failed to create any chance of note to get back into the game.
Into the 85th minute, Fairant broke forward and had an excellent opportunity to double their lead. Roman Bilovol came to the Expats rescue however, making an exceptional block to save his side.
With five minutes of injury time added, the Dragoons chucked caution to the wind in an attempt to equalise. Unfortunately, the Expats failed to create any further chances and the full time whistle sounded shortly after.
The defeat saw the Dragoons knocked out of the Puchar Polski at the 3rd round stage. Despite losing the tie, the Expats played well for long periods of the game. The Dragoons dominated the possession for long periods, but missed chances would cost dearly.
Emre Çolakoğlu and Corneille Malonga put in energetic performances in the middle of the field, who both looked to move the ball and progress the Dragoons forward. Into the second half, the Dragoons looked dominant for a 15 minute period, but just could not find a moment of magic to score.
After the Fairant goal, the Dragoons failed to find the width which had seen them be so dangerous through Voženílek. The home side defended stoutly in numbers and managed to repel the Dragoons’ attacks.
In the end, it just proved to not be the Dragoons day and the attention will now turn to the league campaign.
The Dragoons start the new league season on August 26th with an away fixture against Sparta Skrzeszowice. This season will see the Dragoons in a new league, Kraków Grupa 1, with a whole host of new opponents.
It has been a busy summer with plenty of new recruits coming through the door. Keep an eye out on our social media channels and website to find out more about our new additions in the coming week!