First Polish title for Slask Wroclaw in 35 years
Slask Wroclaw today won one of the tightest title races in recent Polish football history, bringing the trophy to their south-western city for the first time since their debut title in 1977. Slask wrapped up their impressive run in Poland's 16-club Ekstraklasa with a 1-0 win away to last season's champions Wisla Krakow, who finished this term in seventh place.
Their 51st-minute scorer was Rok Elsner, a Slovenian and French dual citizen who signed for Slask in 2010, and who had previously failed to find the net this season. Slask notched up 56 points over the season, just one ahead of runners up Ruch Chorzow, who today beat Lechia Gdansk 2-1 away.
With 53 points, meanwhile, Legia Warsaw secured Poland's third berth in European competition after winning 1-0 at Korona Kielce thanks to a 64th-minute goal from teenager Rafal Wolski. Last week, rising star Wolski earned his first senior call-up from Poland manager Franciszek Smuda for the UEFA EURO 2012 host nation's squad.
The powerhouses of the Polish capital Warsaw had seemed a safe bet for their first title since 2006 - and the tenth in their history - but underwent a slump in form as the season's end drew closer. Slask, whose name means 'Silesia' in honour of their home region, jumped to the top of the table last Wednesday, as then-leaders Legia Warsaw slid to fourth place.
Wroclaw is a match venue for EURO 2012, which kicks off next month, with Slask's home ground - the 42,700-capacity Municipal Stadium, which opened last November - built to host matches during the European football showcase. It will see Group A matches between the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Russia.