A calamitous error from Górnik Zabrze goalkeeper Norbert Witkowski gifted Ruch Chorzów a dramatic point in the 112th Wielkie Derby Śląska, as he allowed a Pavel Sultes header to sneak between his hands, with just minutes left on the clock in Zabrze’s Stadion Ernesta Pohla – the game eventually finishing two-apiece.
The home side had exploded out of the blocks, with a penalty shout for handball turned down in the opening minute. But with the first real chance of the game, they made their great rivals pay. Receiving the a stray Ruch pass in midfield, Maciej Małkowski picked out the onrushing Mateusz Zachara. With only Ruch keeper Kamiński to beat, he fired first time towards the bottom corner – the Ruch stopper’s hand only slowing the ball down on it’s way over the line.
Górnik continued their dominance through much of the early stages, with Zachara inches away from doubling his tally with a looping header which clipped the bar, before Preuce Nakoulma’s drive from a tight angle just went wide of Kamiński’s far post. Meanwhile on Ruch’s first major foray into a strong attacking position, they also had a penalty shout turned down themselves; however Rafał Kosznik’s defending was deemed as perfectly legal by the referee, to the dismay of the grounded Kuświk.
Górnik again came close to doubling their advantage through Nakoulma on 38 minutes, however the Burkina Faso international fired straight at Kamiński when it looked easier to score. And he was made to pay just two minutes later when Ruch equalised in tremendous style.
With a hopeful ball played into the Górnik box, Ukrainian centre-back Oleksandr Shevelyukhin’s clearing header looped out awkwardly. With one touch, the onrushing Marek Zieńczuk fired a looping thunderbolt over the stranded Górnik keeper Norbert Witkowski to ensure the two sides went in level at the break.
However it didn’t take long after the break for Górnik to regain their advantage, as the energetic Nakoulma finally got his goal. With no pressure from the Ruch defence, Mariusz Przybylski had time to search out the advancing Nakoulma, and his powerful low drive was too much for Kamiński.
Ruch though they had a chance to level on the hour mark when they were awarded a penalty, with the referee adjudging that Radosław Sobolewski handled the ball inside the area. But consulting with his assistant, he reversed the decision – one that proved correct, as replays showed the ball hit his stomach rather that his arm.
As the game progressed Górnik remained strong, although it was the visitors who had the better chances to equalise. On 72 minutes, Witkowski awkwardly dealt with a cross, and when Sultes was allowed a second opportunity, Konczkowski could only head wide with the keeper stranded. Then later, a goalmouth scramble looked to give Ruch a chance, but somehow the Górnik defence scraped the ball away when a goal looked more likely. But well into injury time, Ruch were handed a point when Sultes’ header was fumbled into his own net by Witkowski.
The draw keeps Górnik top of the table until Legia Warszawa play Lechia this weekend, and keeps their unbeaten run intact. But whilst only a draw, Ruch’s late dramatics will feel more like a win, as they settle into mid-table.
Górnik Zabrze : Ruch Chorzów (1:1)
Zachara 4′, Nakoulma 48′ – Zieńczuk 41′, Sultes 90+2′
GÓRNIK: Witkowski – Olkowski, Danch, Szeweluchin, Kosznik – Nakoulma, Sobolewski (Madej 83′), Mączyński, Małkowski (Gancarczyk 87′) – Przybylski – Zachara (Mosnikov 71).
RUCH: Kamiński – Konczkowski, Mrowiec, Szyndrowski, Babiarz – Janoszka, Surma, Malinowski, Zieńczuk (Sultes 72′) – Włodyka (Smetkała 82′) – Kuświk (Jankowski 67′).