OTP Bank Liga: Fradi and Vidi deadlocked as title race hots up
Second-placed Videoton were held to a goalless draw by visiting leaders Ferencváros on Saturday, thus ensuring the two teams are still separated by a single point at the top of the OTP Bank Liga with just four rounds left to play. Elsewhere, Paks kept up their battle for a European place with an away win over Vasas and Mezőkövesd's victory over fellow strugglers Diógyőr in the inaugural match in the latter's new stadium lifted the Eastern Hungarian club out of the relegation places.
Videoton FC 0-0 Ferencvárosi TC
Yellow cards: VID: Nikolov (13.), Huszti (16.), Lazovic (58., 94.), Juhász R. (65.), Nego (83.), FTC: Paintsil (51.), Gorriarán (77., 92.), Pedroso (79.), Böde (89.)
Red cards: VID: Lazovic (94.), FTC: Gorriarán (92.)
Videoton FC: Kovácsik - Nego, Juhász R., Vinícius, Stopira - Pátkai, Hadzic, Nikolov (Fiola 56.), Huszti (Kovács I. 71.) - Lazovic, S. Scepovic
FTC: Dibusz - Lovrencsics G., Otigba (Batik 86.), Blazic, Koch (Varga R. 7.), Botka (Pedroso 60.) - Nagy D., Spirovski, Gorriarán, Paintsil - Böde
This fixture between this season's only two title contenders started amidst a tremendous atmosphere in Vidi's temporary home of the Panchó Aréna in Felcsút, but a stunned silence descend just three minutes in when Julian Kock fell prone to the ground after an accidental clash with Videoton goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik, the German player ending up in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
In the initial stages , Ferencváros went closest to opening the scoring when Joseph Paintsil burst into the penalty area and stayed on his feet under sever pressure from Patkai before firing in a shot which Kovácsik did well to deal with. The extraordinarily tension led to neither team really putting any flowing moves together but chances continued to fall to the visitors, particularly to Roland Varga who was inches away from slotting the ball into the net in the 29th minute and then again in the 43rd minute, the latter from a free-kick which skimmed the top of the net on its way just over the Vidi goal frame. Varga then saw Kovácsik deny him again from ten metres in the fourth minute of first-half added time.
Finally, Videoton showed signs of life after the break, Scepovic firing over when well placed and then going close again soon after. Kovácsik then saved well from Paintsil in the 66th minute as the game continued to be even, despite the slight drop-off in pace. In added time, Gorriarán and Lazovic were both dismissed for second bookable offences as the match remained goalless, a result which probably suits Fradi more, given that they stay top of the OTP Bank Liga table by a single point from Videoton in second spot.
Diósgyőri VTK 0-1 Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC (HT: 0-0)
Goalscorer: Drazic (89.)
Diósgyőri VTK: Antal - Nagy T., Karan, Forgács, Tamás - Vela (Makrai, 70.), Busai, Kocsis (Óvári, 79.), Ugrai - Joannidisz, Bacsa (Hasani, 74.)
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC: Dombó - Pillár, Szeles, Katanec, Vadnai - Farkas, Iszlai, Cseri (Szalai, 85.), Tóth B. (Drazic, 45+1.) - Koszta (Novák, 93.), Bognár
Diosgyőr hadn't hosted a top-flight match since the last one at their old stadium in November 2016, a run of 26 matches played at temporary homes, but finally this weekend they could feel like they were back at home again with a local derby against Mezőkövesd marking the first official fixture in their new stadium.
It was palpable in the first half that neither team was in good form, neither willing to commit to attacking in numbers. Mezőkövesd perhaps played a more structured game and broke through the hosts' ranks once or twice but the biggest chance of the half fell to Diósgyőr, Joannidis heading against the woodwork in the 35th minute. The home team tried to attack more in the second half but did so without really showing any good, creative ideas, their opponents preferring to continued in organised fashion.
This paid off in the 89th minute when Mezőkövesd scored the only goal of the game, Drazic tapping Márk Koszta's cross into the bottom-left corner of the net from close range. DVTK, who replaced former head coach Tamás Bódog with Spaniard Fernando Fernandez last week, are now winless in eight matches while their opponents end a run of five matches without victory and rise from last place into 9th with these three points.
Vasas FC 0-1 Paksi FC (0-0)
Goalscorer: Hahn (75.)
Vasas FC: Nagy G. - James, Vaskó, Benes - Vogyicska (Murka, 86.), Vida, Egerszegi (Gaál, 77.), Ristevski, Hangya - Barczi, Remili (Pavlov, 66.)
Paksi FC: Rácz - Kulcsár D., Lenzsér, Fejes, Szabó J. - Simon Á. (Hajdú Á., 46.), Kecskés, Bertus - Haraszti (Szakály D., 90.), Hahn (Simon A., 77.), Bartha.
Both these sides began the first half cautiously with only a few long-range efforts from Vasas to speak of, but there were no clear chances created. The second period was different, Paks dominating the play and opening the scoring in the 75th through János Hahn's goal. This turned out to be the winning goal too with Vasas unable to find an equaliser despite the return of Benedek Murka and Bálint Gaál from serious injury and some late pressure on the visitor's goal. This victory keeps Paks, now unbeaten in four away from home, in the hunt for third place and a return to European competition but lands Vasas, winless in four as the home team, back in the relegation zone.
Budapest Honvéd-Debreceni VSC 1-3 (1-2)
Goalscorers: HON: Eppel (45.), DEB: Tabakovic (13., 58.), Sós (15.)
Red card: Baráth (90.)
Budapest Honvéd: Gróf - Bobál D., Kamber, Baráth - Kukoc, Banó-Szabó (Májer, 68.), Gazdag, Heffler (Lukács, 68.), Holender (Danilo, 43.) - Lanzafame, Eppel
Debreceni VSC: Nagy S. - Bényei (Filip, 64.), Kinyik, Mészáros N., Szatmári Cs. - Kuti (Kusnyír, 84.) - Jovanovic, Tőzsér, Sós (Takács T., 52.) - Tabakovic, Varga K.
Honvéd will count themselves unlucky not to have taken all three points here in a game they dominated from the start. Nevertheless, the Budapest club found themselves two down within the first quarter of an hour, Tabakovic knocking in a rebound on 13 minutes after the ball had struck the woodwork and Sós' shot also finding the net two minutes later. Still, Honvéd continued to have more of the ball but visiting goalkeeper Sándor Nagy repeatedly denied them before Márton Eppel finally found a way past the Debrecen defence to halve the deficit just before half time. Last season's NB I champions poured forward in search of an equaliser but Tabakovic punished them again on 58 minutes to make it 3-1 to 'Loki' and that's the way it stayed. Debrecen claimed three points for the first time in four fixtures while for Honvéd this was a first defeat in four games.
Swietelsky Haladás 3-2 Puskás Akadémia FC (1-1)
Goalscorers: HAL: Mészáros (13.), Wils (68.), Williams (71.), PUS: Henty (6. pen., 82.)
Swietelsky Haladás: Király - Schimmer, Kolcák, Wils, Bosnjak - Grumic, Mészáros (Németh Mi., 64.), Kovács L. (Németh Má., 87.), Rácz B. (Kiss T., 90.), Halmosi - Williams
Puskás Akadémia FC: Hegedüs L. - Poór, Hegedűs J., Spandler (Klinar, 44.), Trajkovski - Molnár G. (Radó, 58.), Balogh B., Zsidai (Márkvárt, 73.), Szakály P. - Perosevic, Henty
There were two goals early on in this encounter, the first from a Henty penalty kick after Haladás' Schimmer had been adjudged to have fouled Puskás Akadémia attacking midfielder Szakály and the second from Mészáros' strike into the top left corner of the net from 10 metres. Indeed, the contest continued to be an even one thereafter, at least until after the hour mark when Haladás struck twice in three minutes through Wils and Williams to effectively decide the outcome of the match. Puskás Akadémia did keep up their search for goals though and after an effort against the woodwork, Henty doubled his tally in the 82nd minute to set up a nervous finish for the hosts. Haladás stood firm though to take the win and ensure they remain unbeaten in their new stadium. Meanwhile, the team from Felcsút lost for the first time since round 23.
Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő 1-1 Újpest FC (1-0)
Goalscorers: BAL: Andric (2.), ÚJP: Litauszki (67.)
Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő: Horváth L. - Habovda, Rus, Tamás L., Uzoma - Vajda, Sigér, Maisuradze (Batarelo, 76.), Haris - Andric (Arabuli, 64.), Kónya (Erdei, 46.)
Újpest FC: Pajovic - Balázs B., Kálnoki-Kis, Litauszki, Burekovic (Mohl, 46.) - Onovo, Nwobodo - Pauljevic, Nagy D. (Tischler, 85.), Zsótér (Sankovic, 46.) - Novothny.
This match had barely taken its first breath before former Újpest striker Andric scored for the home team, but incredibly another 120 seconds later, the scores could have been level had Pauljevic not missed a sitter. The lilac and whites dominated proceedings from then on but it took them until the 67th minute to equalise, defender Litauszki breaking the deadlock after three shots in a row failed to find the Balmaz net. Neither side could find a winner in this rehearsal for Wednesday's Hungarian Cup semi-final 2nd leg between the same teams, but a repeat result would suit Újpest, who lead 2-1 from the first leg, perfectly.