On Easter Monday at 18:00 Lechia Gdansk hosted Arka Gdynia at the Energa Stadium in Gdansk. This was the match that everyone had been waiting for, the first derby in Gdansk for 7 years and the first Derby at the Energa ever.
28,145 fans were at the Energa on a very cold night in Gdansk to watch the action.
As we reported last week, Arka fans were excluded from the match.
Lechia fans were encouraged, by supporter groups, to be in the stadium at least 30 minutes before the game so they could organise the spectacular show they had in store.
This was Arka Coach, Leszek Ojrzynski’s first match in charge so he had a lot to prove.
As soon as the game kicked off Arka were on the attack winning a corner in the 2nd minute, which was defended by Lechia, then in the 7th minute Dariusz Formella saw his shot hit the crossbar. You could really feel the tension in the air from both teams and fans alike. After 15 minutes Lechia began to perform and create a few good chances. Marco Paixao missed a good opportunity after a cross from Pawel Stolarski in the 18th minute. The game was becoming very physical but Lechia looked the more likely to score. In the 22nd minute Marco Paixao had another chance to open the scoring but his header was over the bar.
In the 24th minute the stadium erupted and what can only be described as a well choreographed show from the Lechia fans got into full swing. Pyro, drums, flags and scarfs were their tools of choice but it was their carefully chosen songs that they belted out with passion that really took the atmosphere to another level.
A moment of magic from the Paixao brothers in the 27th minute opened the scoring for Lechia, with Marco getting on the end of a cross from brother Flavio to net his 11th goal of the season. 1:0 to Lechia. Lechia continued to create chances and Arka were ready on the counter attack. Dariusz Formella had a good chance for Arka in the 31st minute but it was no match for Lechia keeper, Dusan Kuciak.
First Half 1:0
The second half started the way the first half ended. With Lechia dominating, Arka looked to be having trouble completing passes and getting past the offside trap. In the 62nd minute a fantastic solo run into the area and a shot from a tight angle from midfielder Slawomir Peszko found the back of Arka’s net – 2:0. 1 minute later Marco Paixao could have made it 3:0 but he put his shot wide.
In 68th minute Lechia conceded a controversial free kick on the edge of the box, Dominik Hofbauer stepped up for Arka, his free kick glided over the Lechia wall and straight into Lechia’s goal. Dusan Kuciak could do nothing about it. An expertly taken free kick. 2:1.
The majority of the second half was played in midfield and due to the physical nature of this game, the amount of free kicks slowed the pace down. The referee did well to control the game and tried to let the game flow as much as he could. In the closing minutes of the game Lechia looked nervous again but Arka couldn’t capitalize and the home team took all 3 points at the final whistle
Final Score – Lechia 2:1 Arka
Man of the match – Slawomir Peszko
Lechia are now 3rd in the league and only 3 point behind the leader. Arka are 3rd from bottom and will have to continue the fight for survival
Round 30, the final round before the league split –
Saturday, April 22 2017
Arka Vs Wisla Plock 18:00
Pogon Szczecin Vs Lechia 18:00
In the post match press conference Arka’s coach, Leszek Ojrzynski said his game plan was to defend and try to get a goal on the counter or from a set piece, he said he altered this in the second half but Lechia were too well organized. He was happy with the way his team responded to going 2:0 down and the way they kept motivation. The coach also mentioned that Arka were playing the best they could but were simply not good enough against Lechia. He promised they will fight for survival in the league and won’t give up.
Lechia Coach, Piotr Nowak commented on how both sides were nervous in the first 10 minutes. He said they (Lechia) conceded an unnecessary goal. He also pointed out that the nerves came back in the last 20 minutes. Overall he was happy with the teams performance and thought they dominated the match.