On Monday night Lechia were back in action at the Energa for round 9 of the Ekstraklasa 2017/18 season. They faced 6th placed Jagiellonia Bialystok. Lechia could climb up to 9th place from 12th in the table with 3 points tonight. Before the kick off, cheerleaders from Gdansk entertained the crowd.
The match kicked off on a very wet night in Gdansk, after 40 mm of rain fell during the day which is half the monthly average for September. Lechia Gdansk started strong, attacking the Jagiellonia goal and won a corner in 2nd minute. However the defense acted well in the resulting corner. In the 4th minute Marco Paixao had a great chance in front of goal after some good link up play between Slawczew and Milos from left to right. Wolski looked full of energy down the left wing. In the 7th minute Jagiellonia had their first chance after a counter down the right, Lechia defense had no problem.
In the 8th minute it was Lechia with the opportunity again but the Jagiellonia defenders closed down Marco Paixao quickly. As a result he couldn’t get his shot away. It should have been a corner but the referee awarded a goal kick. Marco Paixao hit the side netting in 10th minute after a nice cross from Wolski.
Quick lead for Lechia
In the 10th minute Lechia won a corner, the ball was crossed toward the back post where Augustyn was waiting. He rose above the crowd and confidently headed the ball into the back of the net to give Lechia Gdansk the lead 1:0. 3 minutes later Kuciak punched away a corner from Jagiellonia. Jagiellonia however attacked after picking up the clearance and put the ball in the goal. It was clearly an offside and the linesman agreed. Lechia were clearly the more attacking side with Wolski creating chances but Lechia couldn’t finish.
In the 24th minute Jagiellonia broke free against the run of play and caught Lechia sleeping at the back. Augustyn ended up with an own goal after putting the ball over Kuciak when he came rushing out of his goal 1:1. Just 4 minutes later Frankowski found himself virtually 1 on 1 with Kuciak and tipped the ball over his head to take the lead for Jagiellonia 1:2.
Lechia didn’t let this get them down and kept pressing the Jagiellonia defenders. In the 32nd minute Wolski won a free kick in a dangerous position but hit it straight at the wall. The way Lechia were playing it was only a matter of time till they got the equalizer.
Half Time 1:2
The second half started with Lechia passing well and looking to create chances but they were caught sleeping at the back in the 49th minute. A pass into the box from the right found Fedor Cernych unmarked and he didn’t fail to put the ball past Kuciak and score Jagiellonia’s third of the night 1:3.
Coach Nowak reacted in the 52nd minute by taking Flávio Paixao off and replacing him with Romario, he also bought on Oliveira for Nunes. The reaction worked in the 58th minute Romario showed his skill on a solo run into the 18 year box, he crossed the ball square for Marco Paixao who couldn’t fail to tap it into the back of the net 2:3. The rain was really coming down during the 2nd half making the pitch extremely slippery.
Kuciak pulled off no less than four vital saves between 71st and 76th minutes, one after the other to keep Lechia Gdansk in the game. During the last 15 minutes, smoke from the pyrotechnics filled the stadium and swept across the pitch. In the 79th minute Romario tried a back heal in the penalty box to set up Marco Paixao but it was blocked by Jagiellonia. Four minutes later Romario tried a shot from outside the area but it was saved.
In the dying seconds of stoppage time, Marco Paixao got his head on a Wolski cross and buried it in the back of the net! The stadium erupted, the crowd went crazy 3:3!
Final Score 3:3.
Man of the Match
My man of the match goes to Marco Paixao.
Lechia didn’t deserve to lose this match so it was great that Marco got the equaliser in the dying seconds. The team once again showed that they have the fight back in them. Lechia Gdansk could have won the game in the first 15 minutes or the last 20 minutes if they had been more clinical in front of goal. Wolski and Milos both had a good game. I personally would rather see Romario getting in the starting line up instead of Flávio, he has some good skills and looks like he is out to make a big impression.
Jagiellonia seemed to let Lechia play while waiting for their chance, they created space in the box with ease and took their opportunities when needed. They didn’t seem to work too hard and still came away with a point. Despite the bad weather there was a good turnout and as always the fans but on a great show, they never give up. Overall it was an exciting match.
Post Match Press Conference
Coach Nowak made the following comments in his post match press conference:
We took the lead, but by the simple mistakes in the defence we lost control of the game. The players are commended for the fight to the end, for which they received a prize in the form of a goal. Nevertheless, if we took a step forward in Gliwice, now we have stepped back. We certainly need to improve communication and we should take advantage of the wings when we have good players there.
We are certainly not satisfied that we do not score at our stadium as we would like. The fact that in the next meeting we are chasing the result is certainly a concern. We should not slow down the pace after the lead, but continue to do what we outlined before the game. We have to play the whole game like the last 20 minutes of meeting with Jagiellonia. This is what I will demand from my players and we will continue to work on it.
Nieciecza Vs Lechia Gdansk – Saturday 23rd September 15:30