Polish League Cup (1977–1978)

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Polish League Cup
FoundedSpring 1977
AbolishedSummer 1978
Region Poland
Number of teams16
Last championsGórnik Zabrze (1st title)
Most successful club(s)Odra Opole (1 title)
Górnik Zabrze (1 title)

The League Cup (Polish: Puchar Ligi) was a short lived cup competition in Poland spanning two editions in 1977 and 1978.

The League Cup was introduced as a cup competition due to the rising popularity of football in Poland as a result of the success of the national team and of Polish clubs in European competitions. The idea of the cup competition was created by journalists from the Polish sports magazine, "Sport", and persuaded the Polish Football Association to introduce it into the calendar so that it would be an official club competition.[1] The format of the competition was to include all 16 teams in the I liga with 4 groups of 4. The winners of each group would then play in a knockout phase to decide the winner.

1977 League Cup[edit]

The cup started on 27 May 1977 with the final taking place on 18 June 1977. The final took place in Miejski Stadium in Częstochowa. Odra Opole won the cup and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

Despite the efforts of the league and organisers to promote the cup tournament it proved to be unpopular, mostly due to the fact that the tournament started three days after the league ended and managers opted to mainly play reserve players. The attendances proved to be lower than expected and the players were unhappy their holidays had been shortened by three weeks.

Group stage[edit]

Group 1[edit]

Pos. Club Played Pts W D L GF GA
1 Lech Poznań 3 5 2 1 0 5 0
2 Pogoń Szczecin 3 4 2 0 1 3 3
3 Arka Gdynia 3 3 1 1 1 1 1
4 Śląsk Wrocław 3 0 0 0 3 1 6

Matches

Group 2[edit]

Pos. Club Played Pts W D L GF GA
1 Odra Opole 3 5 2 1 0 7 5
2 Szombierki Bytom 3 4 2 0 1 5 4
3 Ruch Chorzów 3 2 0 2 1 3 4
4 GKS Tychy 3 1 0 1 2 1 3

Matches

Group 3[edit]

Pos. Club Played Pts W D L GF GA
1 Wisła Kraków 3 6 3 0 0 15 4
2 Zagłębie Sosnowiec 3 3 1 1 1 3 7
3 ROW Rybnik 3 2 0 2 1 3 8
4 Górnik Zabrze 3 1 0 1 2 5 7

Matches

Group 4[edit]

Pos. Club Played Pts W D L GF GA
1 Widzew Łódź 3 5 2 1 0 3 1
2 ŁKS Łódź 3 4 1 2 0 4 1
3 Stal Mielec 3 2 0 2 1 1 2
4 Legia Warsaw 3 1 0 1 2 1 5

Matches

Semifinal[edit]

Final[edit]

Odra Opole3–1Widzew Łódź
Andrzej Grębosz Goal 1' (OG)
Wojciech Tyc Goal 33'75'
Zdzisław Rozborski Goal 90'
Miejski Stadion, Częstochowa
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Alojzy Jarguz

Odra Opole won the 1977 League Cup.[2]

1978 League Cup[edit]

Due to the 1977 competition being seen as a minor failure the Polish Football Association decided not to support the competition, not making this edition of the tournament official in the eyes of the football association. For this edition the 16 I liga teams were again invited, however only 11 agreed to take part in the tournament, leading to the introduction of Diósgyőri VTK, Tatabánya, Szeged LC, and Kaposvári Rákóczi from the Hungarian leagues, as well as Górnik Zabrze from II liga. Due to the tournament not being officially included into the football league's structure, it is difficult to find information other than the final.

Final[edit]

Górnik Zabrze2–0Zagłębie Sosnowiec
Janusz Marcinkowski Goal 15'
Józef Kurzeja Goal 27'
Referee: Dobrosław Stec

Górnik Zabrze won the 1978 League Cup.[3][4]

Winners and finalists[edit]

Team Winners Runners-up Winning years
Odra Opole 1 - 1977
Górnik Zabrze 1 - 1978
Widzew Łódź - 1 -
Zagłębie Sosnowiec - 1 -

Aftermath[edit]

Due to the low attendances and low interest from fans the League Cup was disbanded after its second season. Since the League Cup two more League Cup competitions have been contested in Poland, the Polish League Cup (1999–2002) and the Ekstraklasa Cup (2006–2009) both being taken off the calendar for similar reasons as the League Cup.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "II. Puchar Ligi, lata 1977 - 1978". hppn.pl.
  2. ^ "Puchar Ligi 1977". wikiliga.pl.
  3. ^ "Edycja 1978 w Pucharze Ligi". wikigornik.pl.
  4. ^ "31.05.1978 - Górnik Zabrze - Zagłębie Sosnowiec 2:0". wikigornik.pl.