Before today, GKS Bełchatów supporters had been forced to endure over 210 minutes without a goal – either for or against their side. After their Matchday 18 meeting with local rivals Widzew Łódź, they can now add a further 90, as for the third time in as many games, the Ekstraklasa’s bottom club settled for a goalless draw.
Despite sitting dead last after an appalling Autumn round, Bełchatów boss Kamil Kiereś was not happy with his side’s third point of Spring – a number which it had taken them 9 games to amass in the first half of the season.
“If you look at our previous matches against Wisła and Legia” Kiereś pointed out, “with two points scored against tough opponents, it was hoped that today we could beat Widzew. A tie does not satisfy us”.
And it was the home side who nearly took the lead just before the half-an-hour mark, when a scramble in the Widzew penalty area looked to spell trouble for the visitors, although the ball was eventually just turned wide of the post by one of a crowd of defenders.
It was another Widzew defender who came close to breaking the deadlock ten minutes later, this time at the right end. Top scorer Łukasz Bróz received the ball at the edge of the GKS box, but his thundering effort crashed off of Emilijus Zubas’ crossbar and out for a goal-kick. Zubas himself was also on top form, coming to Bełchatów’s rescue on two occasions before the first period, firstly turning away Marcin Kaczmarek’s diving header, and just minutes later palming Mariusz Stępiński’s close range header around the post when a goal looked certain.
Bełchatów also had their chances to score their first of Spring, going closest through midfielder Szymon Sawala; although his 20-yard effort from a tight angle just after the hour mark rattled off the underside of the bar. Whilst Mateusz Mak was able to keep the play alive, the 21 year-old’s blatant dive in the penalty area only earned him a yellow card.
With just a few minutes remaining, it was Widzew’s 20 year-old, third-choice keeper Maciej Krakowiak (standing in for the suspended Dragojevic and injured Mielcarz) who ensured that the red-and-whites earned a share of the points, with a wonderful stretching save after Adrian Basta’s 20-yard effort found its way through a crowded box.
Whilst Kiereś felt that his side deserved the three points, his opposite number Radosław Mroczkowski also felt that Widzew had dropped two points rather than gained one. But he was also quick to heap praise onto his young goalkeeper Krakowiak.
>[We] have gained a point, but we’re not quite satisfied with this result. Krakowiak, who began today’s match in the starting line-up, waiting patiently for his chance and he played a good game. He saved us a draw in the end. Following this [Basta’s] shot, which he defended, I saw the ball in the net.”[/i]
GKS Bełchatów 0-0 Widzew Łódź
GKS: Zubas, Kosznik, Basta, Wilusz, Michalski, Madej, Rachwał (Baran, 55), Sawala (Grzeszczyk, 75), Wacławczyk, Mateusz Mak, Traoré (Bartosiak, 65).
Widzew: Krakowiak, Broź, Phibel, Bartkowski, Kaczmarek, Bartoszewicz, Gavrić, Dudek (Okachi, 76), Nowak, Pawłowski (Jonczyk, 70), Stępiński (Aléx Bruno, 55).
Yellow Cards: Sawala, Mateusz Mak (GKS) – Bartkowski, Bartoszewicz, Okachi (Widzew).
Referee: K. Jakubik