Wanda 0-4 Dragoons: A Wandaful Performance

Players of Krakow Dragoons FC entering the field vs Wanda
Wanda Wanda
Dragoons Dragoons
Sat, 15 Oct 2022 14:00 Klasa A — Week 8
Stadion Sportowy KS Wanda


A Wandaful Performance

The Expats took to their travels to take on KS Wanda Kraków on Saturday. The team would look to continue where they left off following the creditable 3-3 draw against Iskra Krzęcin last week.

The fans at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Support in the Stands — the Expats hardy bunch of followers in attendance as usual

The Line Up

For the first time in a long while, the back five remained the same. However, injury cost captain Mark Szczesnowicz a place in the side with Emre Çolakoğlu making his first start of the season. Joaquin Serrano returned to the line up in place of the unavailable Rohit Chandran and new signing Alessandro Puerini came straight into the team replacing Emre Bezirkan.

Krakow Dragoons FC starting 11 posing for a photo before the match vs Wanda
Line Up. Top row L-R: Marcin Obyrtacz (GK), Barry Chowaniec, Alessandro Puerini, Josh Dawson, Emre Çolakoğlu and Robert Ambrosie. Bottom row L-R: Szymon Urzędowski, Simon Calabrese, Joaquin Serrano, Enrico Forabosco (C) and Michał Nowak.
Greetings between players and referees of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda before match
Formalities — Pre Match handshakes between both sides and the officials

Kick Off

The opening ten minutes of the game saw both sides look to get the measure of each other. Marcin Obyrtacz had to catch a couple of crosses into the Dragoons box, but no real danger came from either side.

Wanda had the ball in the more advanced areas in the early stages, but failed to break down a resolute Dragoons backline.

The Expats first real foray forward saw Nowak fouled by the left touchline. Enrico Forabosco put the ball into the box and found the head of the unmarked Simon Calabrese. The centre back saw his header saved; however, the flag had gone up for offside against the Italian.

Enrico Forabosco of Krakow Dragoons FC
Who Wants It — Enrico Forabosco signalling his intent from a set-piece

Off The Mark

With 16 minutes of the match played, the game’s first shot on target produced the opening goal for the Dragoons. A quickly taken throw caught the home side by surprise.

Joaquin Serrano sent a teasing cross into the box towards Barry Chowaniec. The Pole saw his volleyed attempt blocked well, but the ball spilled straight into the path of Puerini. The Italian showed his killer instinct in slotting the ball beyond Damian Seratowicz and into the far corner to get off the mark for his new club.

Joaquin Serrano of Krakow Dragoons FC dribbling an opponent
Spanish Sensation — Joaquin Serrano expertly ghosts past a defender in the build up to the Expats first goal
Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal vs Wanda
First of Many — The Dragoons players surround goal scorer Alessandro Puerini following his early strike to put his team ahead

Wanda had a good opportunity to strike back straight away a couple of minutes after. Obyrtacz spilled a cross into the path of a home attacker. Fortunately, no player attacked the ball sent back across goal and the Dragoons breathed a sigh of relief.

Down the other side of the pitch, marvellous close control saw Serrano beat his man. The Spaniard found Puerini in the box, but the Italian could not get his foot around the ball and stubbed it wide.

Joaquin Serrano of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Waltzing Forward — Joaquin Serrano terrorises an opponent en route to goal

Nearly Two!

In the 23rd minute, the Dragoons ought to have added a second goal. A terrible quickly taken free-kick by Wanda saw Szymon Urzędowski read the play and cut out a short pass. Urzędowski gave the ball to Chowaniec, with the striker nudging it to Forabosco. The midfield magician put the ball back down the line for the Dragoons top scorer to run onto. Chowaniec won the foot race to get in on goal, but the onrushing Seratowicz stood strong to block the attackers attempt to get around him and the chance had gone.

Bartek Chowaniec of Krakow Dragoons FC
Road Runner — Barry Chowaniec taking a breather after another lung busting run down the left flank

The Lead Doubled

It did not take long for the Dragoons second goal to come in the 24th minute however. On this occasion, Seratowicz went from hero to zero for the home side. The custodian saw the ball take a nasty divot off the turf and allowed Puerini the simplest of tap-ins. 2-0 up, the Dragoons found themselves in cruise control.

The Italian looked to grab his hat-trick three minutes later. With his confidence up, he found space on the edge of the area and curled a shot at goal. The effort went straight at Seratowicz however, who collected the ball at the second attempt.

Michał Nowak and Alessandro Puerini of Krakow Dragoons FC talking at half-time
Tactics — Michał Nowak telling Alessandro Puerini the art behind his long throws

Masterful Marcin

Just a minute later and Marcin Obyrtacz became the Dragoons saviour. Wanda found space down the Expats left flank and crossed into the box. Yerson Castro thought he’d got his team back into the game, shooting from close range, but a big outstretched leg from the Polish stopper saw the ball fly out for a corner.

Yerson Pereira of Wanda Kraków
Handful — Yerson Castro proved to be Wanda’s main attacking threat throughout the match

The Dragoons had another great opportunity to add a third goal on the half hour mark. Two-goal hero Puerini showed his defensive capability in clearing a corner at the near post. Barry Chowaniec picked up the ball and turned on the afterburners to leave the Wanda defence eating dust.

As the forward entered the box, he looked to be in two minds whether to shoot or pass to the unmarked Serrano. He unselfishly attempted to pass to the Spaniard, but mishit the ball and Wanda cleared the danger.

The bench of Krakow Dragoons FC
Splinters — The Dragoons coaching staff and substitutes watch the action from the bench

Out For A Throw!

Serrano had his chance of a shot with 36 minutes played. Forabosco sprayed the ball into the wing wizard’s path. The Spaniard cut inside and hit a powerful effort, but saw his attempt fly all the way across goal and go out for a throw.

Wanda began to see a lot of the ball as the half wore down but failed to create any clear-cut chances. The Dragoons did their best to break up the play and won a couple of free-kicks. Wanda must have been watching the Expats highlights as they managed to man-mark Dawson and clear each time!

Josh Dawson of Krakow Dragoons FC
Supermen — The centre back pair of Josh Dawson and Simon Calabrese are always a threat from set-pieces

Back Off The Woodwork!

On the stroke of half time, the Expats came perilously close to adding the third goal. Michał Nowak launched a trademark missile long throw into the Wanda box. Seratowicz came to punch the ball clear, but it spun backwards off his fist and spanked the post. The rebound fell out to Emre Çolakoğlu, however the Turk could not keep his effort down and ballooned his shot over the bar from 10 metres.

Emre Ozan Çolakoğlu of Krakow Dragoons FC disputing a ball vs Wanda
Man Mountain — Emre Çolakoğlu put in a fully committed performance at the heart of the midfield on his first start of the season

Shortly after, the half time whistle sounded and the Dragoons looked good for their lead. They had defended the long ball resolutely and Puerini had been lethal in front of goal.

Second Half

The Dragoons coaches had to make an enforced change at the back for the start of the second half. Jordi Badolato came onto the pitch for Robert Ambrosie, as the Romanian had taken a knock in the first half. The full-back had played an unsung role in keeping the Wanda’s main attacking threat quiet.

Robert Ambrosie of Krakow Dragoons FC lying injured on the field
Man Down — Robert Ambrosie feels the force of another tackle. The full-back would not reappear for the second half.
Jordi Badolato entering the field
Tucked In — Jordi Badolato replaced Ambrosie for his second appearance of the season
Players ready for kickoff at Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Underway — Joaquin Serrano gets ready to kick the second half off

Badolato found himself immediately involved, chopping down an opponent 35 metres from goal. Wanda had failed with all their quickly taken set-piece routines in the first half. This one had to be the worst of them, as a horribly chipped pass bobbled out of play.

Perfect Puerini — Hat-Trick Hero

From Obyrtacz’s goal-kick the ball came back towards the Dragoons right. Badolato thumped it clear and Serrano retained possession for his side. The Spaniard drove past his man with ease and sent a cross into the area. Puerini showed good movement to get onto the end of the ball and firmly nodded past Seratowicz for his hat-trick. A wonderful start to life in a Dragoons shirt for the debutant.

Alessandro Puerini of Krakow Dragoons FC heads the ball into the back of the net vs Wanda
Hat-Trick — Alessandro Puerini loses his marker to head his and the Dragoons third goal of the game
Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal vs Wanda
That’s my Job — Josh Dawson celebrates Puerini’s strike. Likely mentioning he is the only who ever scores headed goals usually.

The Dragoons continued to press and won a free-kick within shooting range with 52 minutes played. Sadly, Barry Chowaniec took a nasty knock to the face and had to leave the field for treatment. Serrano lined up the free-kick and sent a powerful shot straight into the wall. The ball came back to him, but his second attempt sailed over the target.

Commotion next to the referee after a foul
Head Shot — Barry Chowaniec floored after receiving a blow to the face

Błażej Time

With Chowaniec seeing stars (quite possibly Jaqi’s shot too), the Dragoons had to make another enforced change. The hard-working Błażej Święcicki entered the game and moved over to the right-hand side.

Święcicki had a chance to get immediately involved in the thick of the action. Puerini showed his class to superbly bring a long ball down with his first touch. Serrano pinched it off the toes of the Italian and nipped down the by-line. The Spanish sensation put a beautiful ball into the box, but for some reason Święcicki ducked underneath it. Forabosco got to the loose ball behind the Polish winger, but Wanda regrouped to clear their lines.

Błażej Święcicki of Krakow Dragoons FC
The Man, The Myth, The Legend — Cult hero and the long-serving Błażej Święcicki entered the game to replace Barry Chowaniec

As the game entered the 58th minute, Puerini had an opportunity for a fourth. Enrico Forabosco clipped a lovely pass over the Wanda defence into the path of his fellow Italian. The Dragoons new striker rounded the stranded goalkeeper, but a covering defender managed to get ahead of Puerini and clear away the danger.

Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Dangerman — Alessandro Puerini making himself a nuisance in the Wanda penalty box

Wanda Come Close

Wanda nearly found a way back into the game with an hour on the clock. The dangerous Castro beat Badolato to get through on goal at a tight angle. Obyrtacz did well to come off his line and close the gap, forcing the attacker into an early shot. The ball squirmed past the Dragoons keeper but thankfully went well wide of the post.

Marcin Obyrtacz of Krakow Dragoons FC giving indications to his team mates
Over There — Marcin Obyrtacz communicating with the Dragoons back line

The home side continued to try and get into the game and a quickly taken throw came to Dariusz Mielec. The midfielder took a touch and leant back into his shot from range but whacked the effort miles off target.


With the quality of the game diminishing from both sides, some comedy was required to liven things up. Jordi Badolato had made it his personal mission to kick Castro any time the winger had possession. They proceeded to chase each other down on any occasion the ball came to the Dragoons right.

On one such moment, the overeager Badolato fouled his opponent. The resulting free-kick saw a double touch from Mielec, who found himself booked for his comments towards the official in the aftermath.

Enter the Wanda crowd to berate the referee, with injured Dragoons captain Mark Szczesnowicz, quite inebriated at this point, deciding to start to conduct the plaudits for the under fire man in the middle, to give the game some much needed humour.

Michał Nowak of Krakow Dragoons FC
Missile Launcher — Michał Nowak putting the Wand into the opponents

Back to the action, a long clearance found Puerini alone in attack. The Italian did well to run towards goal and win his side a corner.

Forabosco Set Piece = Dawson

Like so often this season, Forabosco swung the ball into the box to find Josh Dawson. The Englishman got his head to the corner, but could only direct it up into the air. The ball landed comfortably into the hands of the keeper and Wanda looked to break.

Down the other end Wanda won a corner of their own. They came close to pulling a goal back, but saw a headed effort flash past the post.

Wanda Down to Ten

With ten minutes to play, Wanda’s difficult task to get back into the game became harder. With Badolato shielding the ball out of play, Mateusz Wolko did his best to try and win a corner. Upset at his attempts failing, he decided to lambast the official, who dutifully produced a yellow card. With the dissent continuing, the referee proceeded to go to his pocked again for a second yellow card in a matter of seconds and sent the rotund Wolko off.

A linesman in Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Offside! — The Linesman keeping a watchful eye on the action

The sending off seemed to spur the home side into action. The Dragoons backline fell asleep as a cross came into the box. Dawson rarely loses an aerial duel, but this time a Wanda man got there first and a flicked header narrowly wide of the post.

Alexa, Play “My Heart Must Go On”

Any hopes for a comeback well and truly ended in the 84th minute. The Dragoons exposed the space given by the ten men ruthlessly. Serrano sprung forward and found Święcicki free on the right. The Polish winger looked to put Puerini through for his fourth goal, but overhit the pass.

The Italian managed to keep the ball in play and lashed a cross into the box. It proved too hot for Seratowicz to handle as he fisted the ball into the air. Święcicki reacted the quickest to the aerial ball and sent a neat header past a defender and into the net. A great moment for the fans favourite to score his eighth goal in a Dragoons jersey.

The moment Błażej Święcicki of Krakow Dragoons FC scores a goal vs Wanda
Back of the Net — Święcicki reacted quickest to the ball and nodded into the net for the Dragoons fourth
The moment Błażej Święcicki of Krakow Dragoons FC scores a goal vs Wanda
Wheeling Away — Święcicki celebrates scoring his eighth goal in a Dragoons jersey
Błażej Święcicki of Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal, motioning a heart to the fans
A Blazing Moment — Błażej Święcicki runs to the Dragoons support to give some love
Krakow Dragoons FC celebrating a goal
Goalscorers — Błażej Święcicki is one of the longest serving players having been with the side during the Sunday league days

A triple change saw the Dragoons freshen the team up. Brian Lemmen took the captain’s armband from Enrico Forabosco. Tireless runner Szymon Urzędowski made way for Rob Smits and Andrea Latino replaced the hat-trick hero Puerini.

Players of Krakow Dragoons FC greeting each other during a substitution
Dutch Duo — Rob Smits and Brian Lemmen enter the field in the latter stages of the game

Dissent Times Two

Moments after the change, the Dragoons won a free-kick in a shooting position. Serrano stepped up to take the set-piece but had to wait momentarily. More dissent from the Wanda side saw a second red card of the game, this time for Mielec.

Whilst the home side continued to argue with the official, the Expats made a further change. Emre Çolakoğlu made way for the veteran Frenchman David Nicolas. The Turk had put in a fine performance shielding the backline in Szczesnowicz’s absence.

David Nicolas of Krakow Dragoons FC
Oo La La — David Nicolas adding the “va va voom” to help the Dragoons to see the game out

Serrano finally took the free-kick, however it proved to be an anti-climax as the ball cannoned off the wall.

Off The Post… Again

Into the last minute of the game, the Dragoons came so close to adding a fifth goal. Nowak launched a throw into the box and found the head of Lemmen. The Dutchman flicked the ball at goal and saw it bounce back off the woodwork and away. Almost a first goal of the season for the Dragoons man!

Brian Lemmen of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Lining up — Serrano lines up a shot with stand in captain Brian Lemmen watching on

The nine men of Wanda produced the last chance of the game deep into injury time. Badolato continued his love affair with Castro down the right. Instead of making a simple pass, the fiery Italian nutmegged his opponent before running into trouble.

Clean Sheet Preservation

Wanda exploited the space left at the back and a cross came into the Dragoons box. Kamil Dworakowski controlled the ball to get inside of Nowak and pulled the trigger at goal. Obyrtacz had once again advanced off his line to close the game and pulled off an excellent save to preserve his clean sheet.

The whistle ended not long after the chance and to confirm an emphatic victory. The result gives the side only their second win of the season and moves them onto ten points.

Hugo Cruz and Josh Dawson of Krakow Dragoons FC
Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’ — Assistant Coach Hugo Cruz is all smiles at the final whistle

A Team Performance!

Alessandro Puerini will rightfully earn the plaudits for his hat-trick on debut. The Italian proved to be a real live wire in the attack, chasing down opponents, holding the ball up well and finishing chances when presented to him. He definitely looks to be the missing part of the puzzle for the Dragoons from this performance.

Alessandro Puerini of Krakow Dragoons FC vs Wanda
Man of the Moment — Alessandro Puerini looked like the missing part of the jigsaw after scoring a hat-trick on debut

Football is not just about individuals however, as the side played extremely well as a unit. The defence had little to do, but cleared their lines when called upon. They dealt with a lot of aerial balls and the full backs rarely let the man get past them in the first half. Good communication and covering restricted Wanda to mainly pot-shots from range. The midfield made themselves available, using the ball tidily to easily win the battle for the centre of the park.

Another hugely pleasing aspect is the clean sheet with Marcin Obyrtacz making two excellent saves.

Marcin Obyrtacz of Krakow Dragoons FC
Safe Hands — Marcin Obyrtacz claimed his first clean sheet in a Dragoons jersey

It looks like the Expats have turned a corner with the mental side of the game and hopefully they can propel themselves further up the table. The Dragoons have drawn more games than any other side and their position could and should be higher than 9th place in the league!

A special last word needs to go to Mark Szczesnowicz, who finally put a man of the match performance – sadly, just not on the pitch.  The Australian was in fine voice, entertaining the onlookers in the crowd and giving the side encouragement only in the way that he can do. He appealed for every decision from the officials and looked to strike fear into the opponents, claiming an assist for the fourth goal for his high praise of Święcicki – the Polish Ronaldinho.

Players of Krakow Dragoons FC entering the field vs Wanda
Dragoons — The Expats stay in ninth position but close the gap on the teams above them

Next Up

Next week the Expats welcome Strzelcy Kraków to Prądniczanka. Strzelcy formed in 1991 and have played at A Klasa level the past four seasons. They finished 10th last season, however find themselves 11th with only four points so far. Strzelcy’s only victory came on week two, a 2-1 win against Podgórze Kraków. Despite their name, the Shooters have struggled to hit the target, scoring only 5 goals thus far – the lowest in the league. They currently find themselves two places and six points behind the Dragoons following a 0-0 draw with Zwierzyniecki.

Despite Strzelcy’s struggles, the Dragoons will need to avoid any complacency and will require a strong performance to continue their march up the table.

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


99Marcin Obyrtacz (pol)
2Josh Dawson (eng) 22'
5Simon Calabrese (ita)
7Michał Nowak (pol)
8Enrico Forabosco (fin/ita) 6
12Alessio Sassini (ita) 24 16', 26', 48'
17Joaquin Serrano (esp)
21Robert Ambrosie (rou) 29
35Emre Çolakoğlu (tur) 15
44Bartek Chowaniec (pol) 94
97Szymon Urzędowski (pol) 25
1Gabriel Muñoz (chi)
6Brian Lemmen (ned) 8
15David Nicolas (fra) 35
24Andrea Latino (ita) 12
25Rob Smits (ned) 97
29Jordi Badolato (ita) 21
94Błażej Święcicki (pol) 44 83'


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