On Saturday night at 20:30 Lechia Gdansk hosted Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza at the Stadion Energa in front of 10,095 fans. This was the first match in the championship group of the Ekstraklasa.
With a population of only 750, Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza is the football club from the smallest village in history to qualify to the top level of a European football league. Around 35 fans from Nieciecza made the 1242 km round trip to watch their side in action.
Coach Nowak made a tactical change from previous league games, going with an attacking 3-5-2 formation. After the recent defense mistakes, playing three at the back was a risky move.
It was the home side who started the match attacking and after just 3 minutes Marco Paixao played a lovely ball through to Lukas Haraslín who was coming up the right wing with pace, Haraslín took the ball to the edge of the 6 yard box and hit the ball into the bottom right corner. Dariusz Trela, the Burke-Bet keeper was close but Haraslín‘s struck had too much power 1:0.
Even with a relatively low attendance the Lechia faithful were in full voice to help drive their team forward.
In the 7th minute Haraslín put a great cross into the box but Lechia Gdansk couldn’t get a head on it, good chance. Just one minute later after a nice flick on from Marco Paixao, Haraslín was through on goal but failed to make much off this time. The Lechia defense were playing high but looked confident with any Bruk-Bet attack.
Lechia continued to dominate the match with spells of good possession and moving the ball across the pitch waiting for an opportunity to attack. There were a lot of high crosses into the Bruk-Bet box but the defense were tall and Lechia Gdansk struggled to make anything of them.
Haraslín was performing well down the right wing, using his pace to get forward but also defending when called upon.
Marco Paixao wasted a great chance in the 42nd minute when he beat the last defender but failed to take his shot on time. In the 44th Simeon Slawczew was in a great position close to goal after a cross from Milos Krasic but he headed the ball wide.
Bruk-Bet had chances but nothing that really tested the Lechia keeper, Dusan Kuciak.
Half Time 1:0
Vlastimir Jovanovic, Bruk-Bet’s midfielder from Bosnia-Herzegovina made history tonight after becoming the 7th foreigner to play 200 matches in the Polish league.
In the second half the visitors attacked with more confidence but the Lechia defense were up to the task. Jakub Wawrzyniak was solid at the back for Lechia.
In the 50th minute, Rafal Wolski crossed the ball into the box where Marco Paixao was sliding in close to goal but he was closely beaten to it by the defender.
In the 53rd minute after some great movement with the ball from Borysiuk, Wolski, Krasic and Slawczew, Marco Paixao found himself one on one with the keeper and flicked it over him to score a well deserved goal 2:0.
After the goal Lechia Gdansk dominated with the midfield controlling the match and slowing down the pace.
Final Score 2:0
Lechia Gdansk move into 3rd place in the Ekstraklasa championship group and are now just one point off top place but this could all change after Sunday’s fixtures.
Man of the match
My man of the match goes to Lukas Haraslín.
Coach Nowak said the following on the match in his post match conference – ‘I am pleased with the attitude of the team in this match. We did a good job on the offensive, as well as defense and we won. Three points earned brings us closer to the goal, which we all dream about’
‘We wanted to improve the game on the defensive and we came in this match playing with three defenders where the players must be very responsibly and keep an eye on their zones on the pitch, and rivals in these areas are moving. In game four at the back of this responsibility sometimes blurs. Today it looked very well in this respect, and we can enjoy this’
Lechia are away at Wisla Krakow on 6th May at 20:30 in the next round of the championship group in the Ekstraklasa