Krakow’s Football Club Fortunes Looking Up

Both of Krakow’s major football clubs have recently shown much-welcomed improvements in form. In the case of vice-champions Wisła Krakow, a series of dull but real victories against Legia Warszawa, Zagłębie Lubin, and Polonia Warszawa have given the club its first lead of the season in the Ekstraklasa, while desperate Cracovia fans have gotten some relief from their long drought in the form of a very welcome draw, followed by a miraculous victory to end a long, painful stall at four points for the season that has lasted since the opening of their new stadium in September. Of the three victories, the last, with Polonia Warszawa, might have ended with a single point for both teams if not for an unfortunate own goal in the 18th minute by Dariusz Pietrasiak.

Wisła’s successes come as works continue on their new stadium, including the addition of new seats for the press. The league wins were not the only good news for the club; on Sunday, 28 November, Wisła also drew the only first-league survivors in this year’s Polish Cup quarterfinals, the theoretically much weaker Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała, who they will play in the beginning of March.

For Cracovia, who had only a single victory to their name in the fall campaign, the breakthrough came when they produced a sudden and inspired showing of respectable football in the final minutes against GKS Bełchatów on Friday, 26 November. The beleaguered club finally found its footing when, trailing by two after conceding two goals from Łukasz Bocian and Dawid Nowak, followed a goal by Bartłomiej Dudzic almost immediately by two more goals by substitute Marcin Krzywicki and another in stoppage time by Dariusz Pawlusiński. While the victory ignited hopes of survival in the top bracket of Polish football, the club remains in uncontested last place in the league with a meagre eight points. Their nearest competitors for the dubious position are a three-way draw between Polnia Bytom, Ruch Chorzów, and Arka Gdynia, with 17 each.

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