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Legia avoids humiliation

16th December 2013
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Poland's top club team won its last Europa League match, narrowly staving off a campaign without winning a game or scoring a goal

It was another terrible season for Polish soccer in European competitions. Only Legia Warszawa managed to advance to the group stage of the Europa League tournament, and that only after failing to get through to the group stage of the Champions League. 

Tomasz Brzyski scored one of the only two Legia goals in the team's Europa League campaign this year
Courtesy of Ekstraklasa

Still, the Warsaw side’s international campaign was a disaster. Until the final game of the tournament the team had lost all of its games and had failed even to score a single goal.

Sure, they had their bad breaks: opponents stopping the ball centimeters from the goal line, poor calls by referees that turned legitimate goals into phantom offside penalties.

Indeed, in most of their games the team competed toe-to-toe with its opponents. But since this is soccer and not figure skating, there were no points for style. After five of six games Legia was left with the worst record in the history of the Europa League, with five losses, eight goals conceded and zero scored.

With no chance to advance to the playoff stage, Legia still had an opportunity to make history, although not the kind that fans would have been proud of. If the Warsaw side had lost its last game against Cyprus’ Apollon Limassol without scoring a goal, they would officially have become the worst team in the history of the competition.

Luckily for their fans, Legia players managed to avoid that fate, comfortably beating their opponents 2-0 after goals by Tomasz Jodłowiec and Tomasz Brzyski.

The Warsaw side ended this season’s European campaign in last place in its group, with three points. Apollon, with four points, was third, while the first two places in the division, and promotion to the playoff phase, were won by Turkey’s Trabzonspor (14 points) and Italy’s Lazio (12 points).

Jacek Ciesnowski

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