Penalty dramatics earn Zawisza the Cup

Zawisza lift the Puchar Polski

Zagłębie Lubin – Zawisza Bydgoszcz 0:0 (Penalties 5:6)

By Michał Dzida in Warsaw, and Ryan Hubbard

Ryszard Tarasiewicz’s Zawisza Bydgoszcz lifted the Puchar Polski, after a thrilling goalless draw was followed by a penalty shoutout in the capital’s Stadion Narodowy.

While their were questions over the atmosphere in the stadium following supporters groups’ boycott of the game, over 37,000 supporters came out to cheer on the two surprise finalists. And while they didn’t see any goals, they were treated to an end-to-end spectacle worthy of a cup final.

During the first ten minutes, both teams were up for a quick start. Both Zawisza and Zaglebie had proper scoring chances with the clearest clearest for Zaglębie, but Abwo was stopped by Zawisza’s goalkeeper Kaczmarek after threatening with his pace. The Nigerian forward took a one-two combination with midfielder Aleksander Kwiek, but couldn’t hit the net after working inside the box. After 24 minutes Kwiek fired a bomb shot at Kaczamrek from 30 yards out, but it wasn’t enough to get past the former Cracovia stopper, who punched it away.

As the first half progressed, both teams clearly slowed down the tempo. But although slower, goalscoring opportunities were still created, with Zagłębie being a little more active than their opponents. However still no-one was able to break the deadlock.

With the sides emerging for the second half, it didn’t take long to establish that it would be similar to the first; with both sides simply lacking the final touch, and missing a number of chances.

Just after the hour mark, Zawisza midfielder Sebastian Dudek fired from 30 yards, but the ball flew just past Silvio Rodić’s post, with Zawisza fans almost ready to jump in celebration. At the other end, Piech received a good pass from 20 yards out and managed to take a snap shot; but it flew way above the cross bar, when he should have done better.

As the game went on, Zawisza kept on pressing their opponents, with the very active Luis Carlos an attacking threat from the left wing. But it was Zaglebie’s Abwo who had the best opportunity with five minutes left on the clock; yet he failed to hit the target from close range.

As in the 90 regular minutes; extra time provided chances for both teams, but none were taken. And so the first Puchar Polski in the Stadion Narodowy would be decided by penalties – the first shoot out in the stadium’s short history.

With Dudek’s early miss giving Zagłębie the advantage; a poor Panenka effort from Dorde Čotra, and a good Kaczmarek save from Bonecki in sudden death gave Zawisza their first ever piece of major silverware, and a first taste of European football.

Starting lineups:

Zagłębie: Rodić – Rymaniak, Bilek, Džinić, Čotra, Guldan, Curto, Abwo, Vidanov, Kwiek, Piech.

Zawisza: Kaczmarek – Lewczuk, Andre Micael, Nawotczyński, Ziajka, Dudek, Drygas, Petasz, Wójcicki, Luis Carlos, Gevorgyan.


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