Pitch Imperfect: Odd Hop Keeps Wisła Atop League

Wisła Krakow remains teetering at the top of the Polish League despite another dismal performance, winning 0:1 after an own-goal in the 90th minute on Saturday against last-place Polonia Warszawa, in Warsaw.

Wisła has made changes in recent weeks, firing coach Maciej Skorża to bring back its own former trainer Henryk Kasperczak. The Krakow side nevertheless remains unable to produce goals and has only clung to leadership in the Ekstraklasa thanks to similar problems in other top Polish clubs.

Wisła’s play on Saturday demonstrated that the club still has work to do after its management shakeup. It allowed Polonia to credibly threaten goal in the 11th and 23rd minutes, while its own attacks persistently fizzled in front of the box. In the second half, Wisła’s White Star side managed to produce two scoring situations, the first as Polonia’s goaltender Sebastian Przyrowski was forced to parry a shot from Wisła’s Paveł Brożek, and the other as Radosław Sobolewski missed the target on a cross from Rafał Boguski.

In the end, the game-winning goal was credited to the uneven state of the pitch itself, as Polonia’s Łukasz Piątek’s back pass from mid-field took an odd hop in front of the goal and Przyrowski mised it with his foot, allowing the ball to roll in next to the post.

Wisła will need to take stock of its situation over the coming weeks. While Sunday’s victory was its third in a row, the team will be facing the ascendant Lech Poznań on 17 March. Lech Poznań, whose campaign to depose Wisła as Polish Champions, remained alive through its win on Saturday, keeping the team within six points of the leaders.

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