In the 23rd round of Lotto Ekstraklasa Arka Gdynia went to Cracow to play against Wisla. Lechia Gdansk hosted Piast Gliwice at Energa Stadium Gdansk. Unfortunately for the fans, both teams lost their matches.
Wisla Krakow – Arka Gdynia
On Saturday, the 17th of February Arka Gdynia came to Cracow to face Wisla. Everyone knew from the beginning that this was not going to be an easy game. Both teams had the same amount of points and both wanted to do their best to stay in the top part of the table. Additionally the statistics weren’t favorable for the players from Gdynia. In total 15 league matches in history, Arka won against Wisla only once, eight years ago. As a result, the opponents of Yellow&Blues looked very strong on paper.
Arka fighting despite domination
Wisla Krakow visibly dominated the match from the very beginning. It was Wasilewski from Cracow, who made the first attempt of the game already in the 6th minute. The answer of Arka Gdynia in the 11th minute was powerful though. After a very good centre from Marciniak, Patryk Kun scored the first one for the team from Tricity.
Dominated by Wisla, Arka could only count on counter attacks. After many attempts of the players from Cracow, including one goal canceled after VAR check, the hosts scored. It was in the 45th minute when the Spanish winger Jesus Imaz decided for a long distance shot. The ball came out to be very difficult and Steinbors didn’t manage to protect the goal this time. It was 1:1 on the scoreboard before half-time.
After the break Arka wanted to dominate the second half. After a couple of attempts it was the team from Cracow that got a better opportunity in the 51st minute. Steinbors made a mistake punching the ball forward after a free-kick and Arsenic couldn’t do anything but score. Wisla underlined their visual domination with this goal. Arka however wasn’t quick to give up. In the 56th minute, Enrique Esqueda entered the pitch making his debut in Lotto Ekstraklasa. This gave new motivation to Yellow&Blues who still believed in winning one point at least. It took only 3 minutes for Esqueda to mark his presence on the pitch with an accurate header. This however wasn’t dangerous for the goalkeeper.
In the 60th minute Marcjanik received a very good ball from Marciniak. The forward beat the goalkeeper in one-on-one situation giving Arka the second goal. Wisla however didn’t want to loose any points home. They attacked creating several situations in a row. Finally, in 83rd minute the team from Cracow repeated their second goal. After a free kick by Carlitos, Arsenic scored from a short distance. Arka tried hard to score at least one more and come back to Gdynia with one point. The goalkeeper of Wisla blocked all the efforts though.
Wisla Krakow 3:2 Arka Gdynia
Lechia Gdansk – Piast Gliwice
More than 7000 fans came to Energa Stadium Gdansk on Sunday to see Lechia Gdansk hosting Piast Gliwice. At first, the task didn’t seem very difficult for White&Greens. The guests were the last team in Lotto Ekstraklasa. Both teams played against each other 36 times and it was Lechia who won 18 of those matches.
Lechia entered the game well. From the first minutes they were visibly dominating the field. Their domination was visible in ball possession statistics (55%) of the match. What’s more, they were trying to get a goal from the very beginning. Flavio Paixao got his first attempt in the 8th minute of the game. The play was taking place mainly in the middle field though. Lechia managed to create some more chances thanks to good play of Paixao brothers. Before the half time it seemed, that the goal for Gdansk is only a matter of time. White&Greens had 4 attempts and Piast only one during the first 45 minutes.
The second half was a surprise for both players and fans from Gdansk. Only 2 minutes after the beginning of the second half Piast created their first good situation. Although it didn’t finish with a goal, the players from Gliwice definitely caught some wind. In the 65th minute of the game, Hateley made a deep throw-in into the penalty area. Szczepaniak got the ball and scored his first goal for Piast. It was 0:1 in Gdansk and home fans could be very disappointed with the result.
In the 73rd minute a tragedy struck Lechia. Wolski fell down in pain after an individual run. The medics entered the field and it was clear that the problem is very serious. Lechia had to finish the match with 10 players on the field, as they have used all three substitutions. At the beginning of this week the club informed that Wolski suffers from anterior cruciate ligament rupture. This serious injury may result in several months of break for the middle fielder.
After Wolski’s problems Lechia couldn’t get back to the game. Their efforts were inaccurate and Piast was ready to use it. Within last 10 minutes of the regular time they struck on Lechia’s goal three times. The final strike came in the 4th minute of the added time. Papadopulos entered the penalty area and scored without problems.
Lechia Gdansk 0:2 Piast Gliwice
Situation in the league
After the round, Arka Gdynia stayed at the eight place in the league with 32 points. The team is still in the top half of the table, but keeping this position becomes more and more difficult. Lechia Gdansk remained at the 12th place and has now 25 points. The first team, Legia Warszawa has 44 points and the last Pogon Szczecin 20 points.
In the upcoming matches both teams from Tricity should get points if they want to maintain their positions. On Tuesday, the 27th of February Lechia Gdansk plays home against Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza, who are currently on the 15th place in the table.
On the next day, Arka Gdynia hosts Piast Gliwice. The team from Gliwice is now 13th and will definitely want to get some more points from Tricity.