Oh man, this sport. Sometimes, it can be utterly merciless. Strap yourself in for some pretty remarkable scenes here.
We’re heading over to Poland for the final round of fixtures in the second tier Fortuna 1 Liga. Frequent Ryanair flyers will likely be familiar with Katowice due to its airport that supposedly serves as an arrival point for visitors to Krakow, despite it being roughly 8,000 miles away from the place, but on this occasion we’re taking a trip to see GKS Katowice in action at home to Bytovia Bytow.
GKS start the day in 15th on 37 points, one place above the relegation zone, with Bytovia sitting in 17th on 34 points. It’s a genuine relegation decider, with 16th-place Suwalki (34 points) also in action away to Rakow.
GKS only need a point to guarantee survival, and things are looking good with the game in the seventh minute of injury time and the score at 1-1. But then, up pops goalkeeper Andrzej Witan at the back post:
Amazing stuff. Witan has scored the goal that consigns GKS to their fate and keeps Bytovia in the second tier for another year. An absolute hero.
Except. That’s not where it ends. Amid the wild scenes of jubilation, news filters in: Suwalki, whose game had also been tied at 1-1, have only gone and scored a 92nd-minute winner. It leaves all three sides on 37 points, with Suwalki staying up based on head-to-head results having beaten Bytovia 4-2 back in April.
It’s a heartbreaking moment for both teams on the pitch in Katowice, but particularly for Bytovia, whose elation rapidly turns to devastation in scenes reminiscent of Man United players finding out about Man City’s late goal all the way back in 2012.