The Polish Ekstraklasa restart quickly turned from sweet to sour for Dejan Iliev, as an injury stopped him in his tracks.

Dejan Iliev playing for Jagiellonia (Photo by Michal Stanczyk via Iliev's Instagram)
Dejan Iliev playing for Jagiellonia (Photo by Michal Stanczyk via Iliev’s Instagram)

After missing three games before the coronavirus break due to a different injury, Dejan Iliev returned to Jagiellonia’s goal for the first post-lockdown gameweek recently.

Jagiellonia surprisingly managed to claim all three points at 3rd-placed Cracovia on the day. The Arsenal goalie played a big part in a 1-0 win, delivering some important saves.

While overall his performance wasn’t overly spectacular, the solid showing turned out to be enough to grant him a place in Ekstraklasa’s official Team of the Week.

The joy was shortlived, as a new injury ruled out Iliev from subsequent matches. While initial reports didn’t suggest anything serious, he missed the next three games. The nature of his problem and a potential return date remain unknown to the public.

In his absence, Jagiellonia claimed 4 points. This proved enough to qualify into the top 8 for Ekstraklasa’s final round. The final round involves seven additional gameweeks where top 8 and bottom 8 sides compete only against each other.

That means Iliev’s side have met their minimal target for the season. Jagiellonia retain slim chances of European qualification for now. Were they to lose sight of the EL spots, it’s possible they’ll resort to playing a weakened, younger team, with next season in mind.

It’s unlikely Iliev would drop out for a goalkeeping prodigy, but he could find himself with his hands full once he returns.

This update comes from Eryk Delinger, a Polish journalist and Jagiellonia follower. Check him out on Twitter.

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