April 14th, 2017
Another round in the John Kilby League Cup, another upset.
Second division side Stal Mielec’s reserve team defeated first division club and League Cup reigning champions, Zum Schneider FC 03, 4-2 on penalty kicks (2-2 FT) Sunday afternoon at Bushwick Inlet.
Stal Mielec NY roster. Stal Mielec NY Images
Zum conquered Stal the last two times they met, 2-3 and 3-4. They also eliminated the Polished-based club in the competition last year.
Stal Mielec head coach Miroslaw Pasternak expressed that their win against the first division team will only be notable if they end up winning the cup.
“It [the win against Zum] will only be memorable if we win it all,” Pasternak said.
However he was thrilled by the victory.
“It feels great especially that it was Zum that eliminated us in the semifinal last year,” the coach said.
He later added: “To be fair it was not our reserve team who won on Sunday, it was a mixture of the first team and reserve team players, but regardless it was a great win.”
Coach Pasternak shared that his game plan was to sit back in the first half, wait for their opponent to get tired and hit them on the counterattack.
“Since we played a team from the top flight we decided to sit deep and play on the counter-attack during the first half,” he said. “In the second half, the opposing team got tired and we took advantage of it scoring two goals, and missing few other excellent chances.”
Zum opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a penalty kick before Stal scored two unanswered goals in the 55th and 69th minute. Zum Schneider tied the game in the last minute of play to send the encounter to penalty kicks.
The League Cup champions only converted two of their first four penalties as Stal Mielec keeper Lukasz Boruc racked two outstanding saves. The Polish-based team on the other hand scored their first four PKs through Kestutis Mykolaitis, Pawel Marczenia, Bartek Dziuban and Lukasz Sowinski.
The second division reserve side is set to play another team from the top division in the semifinal, NY Athletic Club.
Sowinski, the player who scored the game-winning penalty kick, is confident that his side can notch another win against a team from the top flight.
“The team feels very accomplished right now,” Sowinski said. “We know we are getting better and playing with more confidence all around the field. Going forward, we know that we can continue winning games against strong opponents, and really solidify Stal Mielec as a team to be feared.”
Coach Pasternak also gave his thoughts on Stal Reserve’s upcoming fixture in the League Cup, acknowledging how tough their match against NYAC will be.
“It's going to be extremely hard as in the semifinal we will be facing NY Athletic Club,” he said. “We played them many times during our tenure at D1 and it was always a challenge - especially on their turf, but hey - we already eliminated one first division team.”