Płomień Kościelec 0-3 Dragoons: Dragoons on Fire

Krakow Dragoons FC players posing for a pre-match photo
Płomień Kośc. Płomień Kościelec
Dragoons Dragoons
Sun, 2 Jun 2024 17:00 Klasa A — Week 24
KS Nowa Proszowianka Proszowice


Dragoons on Fire

A long journey to Proszowice saw the Expats travel outside of Kraków to take on Płomień Kościelec. A beautiful setting welcomed the Dragoons, who looked to extend their winning run to 3 games following last weekend’s thrashing of Victoria Smroków.

The Dragoons made one change to the starting line-up as Rob Smits missed the game and Jan Krzyżanowski took his place in midfield.

Krakow Dragoons FC players warming up with short passes
Instructions — Hugo Cruz takes his team through the warm up pre match

Kick Off

An inauspicious start saw both sides looking to get a feel for the ball in the early stages. Płomień kept the ball better in the opening period as the Expats took time to get going.

Big Save Early On

The hosts had the game’s first shot after the Expats lost possession high in the opposing half. Płomień looked to break quickly with the Dragoons advanced and found space behind the defence with a long pass. Damien Nowak looked to take advantage, racing off the flank to get into the box with the ball. Nowak struck firmly at goal from an angle, however, an outstretched boot from goalkeeper Marcin Obyrtacz kept the ball out of the net. An important early save from the Dragoons’ stopper.

Marcin Obyrtacz of Krakow Dragoons FC warming up, assisted by teammate Michael Syska-Lamb
Getting Down — Michael Lamb puts goalkeeper Marcin Obyrtacz through his paces prior to kick off

Into the 20th minute, the Dragoons managed their first shot of the game. The Expats began to see more of the ball and Francesco Leuci won possession ahead of an opponent and drove towards goal. However, the Italian leaned back too far and his attempted effort at goal whistled way over the target.

Penalty Ref?

Less than a minute later, great pressing by Leuci and Nkola, high in the Kościelec half saw the Angolan race into the box. Nkola looked to bypass a defender on the goal line and went sprawling over an outstretched leg. Unfortunately, the referee remained unmoved and the play continued. Whilst it looked like a foul, Nkola’s comical leap to the floor likely influenced the referee’s decision.

Absolutely Stonewall

Płomień looked to counter with the Dragoons slow to get bodies back behind the ball. A sliding challenge from Kuba Drobny halted the hosts’ advance and Enrico Forabosco took possession. The midfield magician charged through the middle of the pitch and laid a pass to Yuri Samyonov. The Israeli held off an opponent’s attention on the right flank and cut a pass back to Corneille Malonga. The Congolese midfielder sprayed a neat pass out wide to pick out Nkola lurking inside the Płomień box and the Angolan took the ball down well, before having his legs swiped from underneath him. Once again, the referee continued the game with the Expats in disbelief that a penalty kick had not been awarded. This one looked like an absolute stonewall spot kick!

Regardless, the Dragoons continued to look to work an opening. The Expats gave the ball to Forabosco and the Italians’s run was ended by a crude foul. The Italian protested to the referee but found himself in the book for voicing his opinion a little too loudly. Meanwhile, the poor challenge on the midfielder went unpunished.

So Close!

Forabosco dusted himself down and sent a swerving effort at goal that tested goalkeeper Michał Cieśniarski for the first time. The Kościelec stopper tipped the incoming shot against the bar and the ball fell kindly for Martin Voženílek at the far post. The Czech winger headed towards an open net, however, an excellent flying defensive intervention denied the Dragoons an opening goal. Voženílek appealed for handball, but the referee and linesman were well-positioned to shun the protests. Great defending to keep the game level.

On 28 minutes, Drobny found himself advanced as an auxiliary right winger and won a free-kick by the touchline. Forabosco whipped the ball towards the far post with Krzyżanowski getting his head to the ball. However, the young midfielder failed to put any pace onto his attempt and the ball bounced into the arms of Cieśniarski.

An awful tackle on 35 minutes saw an opponent rightly booked for a cynical late challenge on Voženílek on the right flank. Forabosco floated a cross into the box and on this occasion, Samyonov got to the ball first and sent a firm header at goal. Unfortunately for the Dragoons, the attempt dropped wide of the target as Hugo Cruz’s side edged closer to taking the lead.

Off The Post

Two minutes later, the Expats came even closer to breaking the deadlock. An excellent passage of play saw the Dragoons switch the play from right to left. Leuci motored down the left flank but ran out of space as an opposition defender cannoned the ball off Nkola for a throw. Excellent tenacity from both Leuci and Krzyżanowski saw the latter toe the ball away from an opponent into Samyonov. The Israeli showed exquisite vision to lay a pass into Nkola, who raced onto the ball beyond the last defender at a tight angle. The Angolan elected to take on the shot, which beat Cieśniarski all ends up, but thudded back into play off the base of the post!

However, the danger remained for the hosts as the rebound came straight to Krzyżanowski. The midfielder had time to take a touch but elected to take a first-time shot. Krzyżanowski subsequently miscued his goal attempt and Cieśniarski gratefully grabbed the ball on his line.

Dragoons Go In Front

With the Dragoons well on top, it did not take long for the first goal of the game to arrive. Leuci cut out an attempted long pass and had time to burst into space. The full-back picked out Nkola on the wing, who cut inside and laid a pass centrally towards Saymonov. The shaven-headed forward delightfully stepped over the ball after receiving a call from Forabosco and the Italian ambled forward unopposed with several teammates to his left and right. However, the magician decided to wave his left wand to shoot, hitting a well-struck effort that bounced horribly inside the six-yard box and into the net via the hand of the keeper for 0-1. The goal saw the Dragoons hero score his 12th goal of the season surpassing his previous seasonal total of 11.

Four minutes later in the 43rd minute, the Dragoons came close to extending their lead. Roman Bilovol won the race to the loose ball and fortuitously found Krzyżanowski. The youngster cushioned the ball beautifully with his left foot before taking on the shot with his right. On this occasion, Cieśniarski denied Krzyżanowski’s swerving effort, getting down well at his near post to push the ball wide.

Shortly after, the referee sounded his whistle to end the first half. The Expats had started slowly but began to get a foothold as the game progressed. With the screw turning, the Dragoons struck first to take advantage of their possessional dominance and go into the break deservedly ahead.

Krakow Dragoons FC players warming up with short passes
Ball Work — The Dragoons go through their paces to get their limbs ready for the game

Second Half

With only a minute played in the second half, the Dragoons had an excellent chance to further their lead. The Expats won the ball high up the pitch through Malonga, who found Samyonov free inside the box. The forward rolled a pass into the path of Nkola, who took a touch and shot at goal. The attempt beat Cieśniarski, however, a covering defender got back well to head the shot from off the line.

Kościelec Fight Back

Straight down the other end, Płomień had their first chance of the half. A throw-in found Damien Turek who peeled away from the Dragoons’ defence and laced a shot at goal. However, Marcin Obyrtacz watched the ball and got behind the shot to make a comfortable save.

A rapid start to the half saw the hosts have another chance less than a minute later. Forabosco, unusually careless in possession gifted the ball to Nowak. The hosts’ dangerman threaded a pass into Turek, who blasted a shot at goal from outside the box. On this occasion, Obyrtacz stood firm, palming the ball into the immaculate turf and gathering at the second attempt.

Woodwork Struck Again

Voženílek showed quick footwork and won a free-kick 25 metres from goal down the other end. The evergreen Enrico Forabosco stepped up as usual, looking to grab his second goal of the game. The midfield magician curled his effort at goal only to be denied by the crossbar as the Dragoons’ search for a second goal continued.

On 54 minutes, a quickly taken corner resulted in the hosts having a chance to level the score. However, a thunderous drive from Nowak saw the ball fizz just over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Nkola was in the thick of the action once more. A cross to the far post saw the ball drop the feet of the fleet-footed attacker. A terrific piece of skill saw the Angolan nutmeg his opponent but Cieśniarski stood tall to save his close-range attempt at goal.

Forabosco At The Double

The Dragoons finally added their second goal of the game on 65 minutes. The Expats pressed high with an opponent gifting the ball to Forabosco. The midfielder played a quick give-and-go with Chandran before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner from outside the box. A 41st goal in 81 games for the Dragoons midfielder!

Dragoons On Fire

Within two minutes, the Expats had notched a third goal with a sublime display of attacking football. Drobny received a throw from Bilovol and put a searching low pass towards Samyonov. The Israeli showed excellent instinct to backheel the ball to pick out Voženílek’s dash into the penalty area. The winger beat his defender for pace, but a heavy touch saw the Czech get too close to the keeper, who pulled off a good save. However, the rebound fell straight back to Samyonov who clipped the ball towards the goal and Nkola slid in at the far post to convert for 3-0. Nkola’s 28th goal in an Expats jersey saw him move one behind Saymonov in the Dragoons’ all-time goalscoring chart.

Krakow Dragoons FC players sprinting doing warm-up
Sprint — Hugo Cruz gets his team sprinting in a final warm up before the game started

How Did We Miss!!

In the next attack, the Dragoons wasted a glorious chance to add a fourth goal to kill off the match. The Expats benefitted from Płomień’s wastefulness as Bilovol intercepted a pass and put Chandran in possession. The Indian drove forward into space and laid a pass to Nkola on the left flank. A clever return pass behind the defence saw Chandran square the ball across goal, with Samyonov stretching to get a touch to deny Bilovol a tap-in. Samyonov recovered quickly to poke the ball to Voženílek, however, the Czech somehow cleared the bar from close range.

Hugo Cruz utilised his bench to give everyone game time, with the game seemingly won. Consequently, the match had a typical end-of-season feel, as both sides knocked the ball around. Neither team created any clear-cut chance with an Atzori free-kick clearing the bar being the closest attempt at troubling the score.

On 90 minutes, the referee ended the game with the Expats comfortably triumphing to leapfrog their opponents into 8th place. Dragoons on fire blasted in the dressing room after the game, with the team in high spirits following a third victory in succession.

Krakow Dragoons FC players posing for a pre-match photo
Line Up — Top Row L-R; Flavio Nkola, Simon Calebrese, Marcin Obyrtacz, Kuba Drobny, Roman Bilovol, Francesco Leuci. Bottom Row L-R; Jan Krzyżanowski, Enrico Forabosco (C), Yuri Samyonov, Corneille Malonga and Martin Voženílek.

Next Up

The Dragoons’ penultimate game sees fourth-placed Szreniawa Koszyce travel to Prądniczanka next weekend. Szreniawa holds a 12-point advantage over the Expats, winning twelve, drawing three and losing three times this season.

In the previous fixture, the Dragoons left the game feeling frustrated with two horrendous decisions costing them at least a point. A horrible moment saw the Expats fall behind in controversial circumstances early in the game. A shot from range dribbled through Marcin Obyrtacz’s legs, however, the keeper recovered to keep the ball out of the goal… Or so he thought, as a flag from the sideline saw a goal given to put the hosts ahead with the linesman a fair distance from the action.

The Dragoons hit back with Vałdzis Fuhaš and Alessio Sassini both scoring within five minutes of each other to make the score 1-2. However, two goals in quick succession saw the Expats go into the break 3-2 down.

Into the second half, an excellent flicked header saw Martin Voženílek level the score almost immediately after the restart. The Expats pushed forward in search of a winner and left themselves exposed as the hosts added a late fourth.

A controversial decision saw a late Sassini goal given and then ruled out for an adjudged push. In the fracas that followed, both Sassini and Hugo Cruz received red cards as the Dragoons fell to a harsh defeat.

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


99Marcin Obyrtacz (pol)
5Simon Calabrese (ita)
8Enrico Forabosco (fin/ita) 33 39', 65'
9Yuri Samyonov (isr) 29
10Flavio Nkola (ang) 69'
13Kuba Drobny (pol) 34
14Roman Bilovol (arg)
16Francesco Leuci (ita) 2
26Jan Krzyżanowski (pol) 11 32'
30Martin Voženílek (cze) 43
36Corneille Malonga (cod)
2Josh Dawson (eng) 16
11Rohit Chandran (ind) 26
29Vałdzis Fuhaš (blr) 9
33Omar Atzori (ita) 8
34Michael Syska-Lamb (sco) 13
43Salah Missi (alg) 30


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