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Round-Up: Newcomers Piast at the top in Poland

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Aug 2008


Piast Gliwice became the first leaders of the Ekstraklasa after a 2-0 defeat of Cracovia in their first-ever top flight match.

Piast Gliwice, who play their home matches in nearby Wodzislaw Slaski for licensing reasons, took a comfortable win over Cracovia Krakow. In the final minute of the first half Kukulski hit from outside the penalty area and gave the lead to Piast. And thanks to a penalty converted by Krzysztof Gamla, Piast will sit on the throne at least for a week.

The hero for Gliwice fans is however Jaroslaw Kaszowski. The 30 year old midfielder has spent all his career at Piast and helped them get from the 7th division to the Ekstraklasa. “I can’t find the words to describe our play,” said Cracovia coach Stefan Majewski.

Wisla Krakow, engaged in Champions League qualifying matches with Barcelona, hosted Polonia Bytom. Despite several chances, a second-half header from last season’s top scorer Pawel Brozek gave the reigning champions a narrow 1-0 win. Polonia, with new coach Marek Motyka presented its ‘locust’ play of free kicks, but with no result. Wisla ended the match with injuries of defenders Cleber and Piotr Brozek. Having the other defender, captain Glowacki, already out for 3 weeks without valuable substitutes, coach Maciej Skorza has serious head-ache ahead of Wednesday’s match at Camp Nou.

Warsaw’s derby between Legia and Polonia ended with a surprise 2-2 draw. Polonia, who have lost all previous nine matches with Legia, even led 2-1 at half-time. Legia’s Bartlomiej Grzelak opened the scoring in the 11th minute but goals from Marek Sokolowski and Daniel Maka in 41st and 44th minute turned things around for the visiting side. Shortly after the break Maciej Iwanski scored from the spot but that was everything that Legia could achieve that evening.

Lech Poznan started with a shock 2-3 defeat to Belchatow, who hadn’t won any of the previous six meetings in Poznan. Despite taking the lead twice, Luis Henriquez’s own goal earned Pawel Janas’s team the win in his debut on Belchatow’s bench. Lech’s Hernan Rengifo and Robert Lewandowski found the net, but Tomasz Jarzêbowski and Tomasz Wrobel respectively, succeeded in levelling the score.

Gornik Zabrze hosted rivals Ruch Chorzow in a prestigious derby of the Upper Silesia region. Both teams earned one red card, but failed to score. Surprisingly, both coaches praised their level of play, while the footballers mostly showed aggressive behaviour.

The match between LKS Lodz and Odra Wodzislaw ended with a scoreless draw after awful play as well. The teams hadn’t created any chance to score, they concentrated on how not to lose in their opening match of the season. “The match was so boring, that you felt like it lasted 180 minutes instead of 90,” website wrote.

The two matches between newly-promoted teams, Arka Gdynia vs. Jagiellonia Biaystok and Slask Wroclaw vs. Lechia Gdansk, ended with 1-1 draws.


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