Championship was there for the taking for Lechia

In Gdansk, Sport
Photo: Jakub Wozniak/Tricity NewsPhoto: Jakub Wozniak/Tricity News

For the first time in history one of four teams can win the Ekstraklasa championship on the closing day of the season.

Lechia Gdansk, Legia Warsaw, Jagiellonia Bialystok and Lech Poznan all played on Sunday in matches which would determine the league champion and who gets a European spot.

Warsaw Vs Lechia 18:00 Sunday 4th June 2017

Bialystok Vs Poznan 18:00 Sunday 4th June 2017

The match

It was a nervous start for both teams, there was so much at stake.

In the 4th minute Lechia won a corner, Marco Paixao just missed what could have been a vital 1st goal. Lechia began to settle and put their training ground plans into action after another corner in the 8th minute which was taken by Rafal Wolski but defended well by Warsaw. In the 12th minute Kuciak was there to stop Warsaw’s first real attack of the match. After about 18 minutes the game really opened up with Warsaw finding their stride In attack. In the 22nd minute Krasic turned on the edge of the box and took a powerful shot to the top corner but he put too much power into it and saw his shot fly over the bar. Kuciak again came to the rescue in the 30th minute when Warsaw found themselves one on one with the Lechia keeper.

Half time 0:0

Due to Poznan beating Jagiellonia 0:2 at half time Lechia were in 3rd place in the league with this result and in a European place. Will they now sit back and defend to keep things the way they are or do they go for it and risk losing the European place? Tough decision for coach Nowak.

Second half

Warsaw were straight into action with a shot just off target seconds after the whistle blew. In the 51st minute a dangerous free kick just outside the area was put wide of the Lechia goal by Warsaw. The first 20 minutes of the second half was just wave after wave of Warsaw attacks, Lechia struggled to get out of their own Half for much of it. When Lechia did manage to get out of their half, Warsaw quickly won the ball back and pressed the Lechia defense again. In the 68th minute after a late two footed challenge by Peszko he was show a red card and Lechia were down to 10 men, very poor from Peszko and disaster for Lechia. Despite only playing with 10 men, Lechia managed to set Marco Paixao free in 71st minute and his solo effort was only just saved by Arkadiusz Malarz, the Warsaw keeper.

In the 77th minute news that Bialystok had scored against Poznan filtered through, if Lechia could score and Bialystok got one more Lechia would be champions. With 13 minutes left there was still everything to play for.

In the 82nd minute Kuciak saved a close range shot with his face, Warsaw were well offside but there was no flag form the official. In the closing minutes Lechia really lacked energy and were playing with a nine man defense.

In the 87th minute Bialystok equalized against Poznan, cheap replica watches Lechia really had the chance to win the league now but did this news reach the players?

After a very tense final few minutes the full time whistle blew and Warsaw waited on the pitch for news from Bialystok.

Full Time 0:0

Man of the match

My man of the match goes to Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Warsaw).

Final Table

Goals

Points

Legia Warszawa

+39

44

Jagiellonia Bialystok

+25

42

Lech Poznan

+33

42

Lechia Gdansk

+20

42

Ekstraklasa Final Results 2016/17

Champions: Legia Warsaw

Europe: Jagiellonia Bialystok, Lech Poznan

Relegated: Gornik Leczna, Ruch Chorzow

Cup Winners: Arka Gdynia

Promoted to Ekstraklasa: Sandecja Nowy Sacz, Gornik Zabrze

Marco Paixao had to share the top league scorer award with Marcin Robak (Lech Poznan) as they both scored 18 goals.

Devastating news for Lechia that they miss out the European place.

If Lechia had scored just 1 goal today they would be champions. It’s too easy to blame it on Peszko for his red card today. In reality, looking back, Lechia’s run of poor away form earlier in the season really hurt them.

I really feel for the Lechia fans and team after coming so close. Both the club and the fans have won my heart this season.

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