Raków Częstochowa crowned Polish Champions!

Raków Częstochowa claimed their first ever Polish championship on Sunday afternoon. Closest challengers Legia Warsaw suffered a 2-1 defeat at Pogoń Szczecin, which left the Wojskowi no longer able to catch the Champions-elect.

Raków started the day knowing that they had two opportunities to claim their maiden league title: the first in their own game at Korona Kielce, and the second a few hours later in Szczecin.

Following their midweek Cup final defeat to Legia, Marek Papszun’s men were keen to make amends; although they struggled to pass a resilient Korona defence fighting for their own Ekstraklasa survival. After falling behind to Jakub Łukowski’s first-half penalty, the visitors created a handful of strong chances to generate the point they required, but failed to take them. The biggest fell to Fran Tudor in the final minute of the game, but he failed to hit the target from eight metres, with the goal wide open.

And so attentions turned to Szczecin, where Legia had to claim all three points to prolong the title race for at least another week.

Still perhaps suffering a cup final hangover, Legia fell behind after ten minutes through Mateusz Łęgowski. Although Maciej Rosołek equalised early in the second half, Legia couldn’t find a winner. With two minutes remaining, Vahan Bichakhchyan swung the game in Pogoń’s favour, and handed the Częstochowans their deserved Ekstraklasa trophy.

With 22 wins from their 31 games so far, Raków have been the dominant force in the Polish game this season. They’ve scored more (60) and conceded fewer (20) than anyone else in the league, and have amassed a points total which has them eleven clear of Legia with three games to play.

Raków’s championship is arguably the greatest story in Polish football history. When Marek Papszun took charge in 2016, the club were in the third tier. Within three years the club had returned to the top-flight, with ambitions of much more.

Since 2021, Raków have gone on to claim their first pieces of major silverware – back-to-back Puchar Polski and Superpuchars in 2021 and 2022. While they missed out on a third successive Puchar in midweek, bettering last season’s second place league finish was always the main target for this season.

Along with the title, qualification for the preliminary rounds of the Champions League also beckons. Although they will be attempting to qualify for the grandest stage of them all without Papszun. With his contract expiring at the end of the campaign he opted not to renew, with the reins instead being handed to his assistant, Dawid Szwarga.


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