Fradi's derby win puts them top at Christmas
The 19th round of the OTP Bank Liga saw Dénes Dibusz keep a clean sheet as Ferencváros defeated Budapest rivals Vasas away from home and with Videoton suffering a damaging loss in Szombathely, Thomas Doll's side have now replaced the team from Székesfehérvár at the top of the NB I table as the league enters its two-month winter break. Elsewhere, reigning champions Honvéd overcame Paks 1-0 and then sacked their Dutch coach Erik van der Meert with immediate effect, Attila Supka replacing him at the helm.
OTP Bank Liga, 19th round:
Budapest Honvéd 1–0 Paksi FC (0–0)
Bozsik Stadion, ref.: Berke
Goalscorer: Gazdag (61.)
Yellow cards: HON: Gazdag (70.), PAKS: Vági (31.), Simon (70.)
Honvéd: Gróf - Baráth, Lovric, Kamber - Holender, Laczkó (Nagy G., 46.) - Gazdag, Pölöskei, Banó-Szabó (Tömösvári, 92.) - Eppel, Lanzafame
Paks: Verpecz - Szabó, Gévay, Lenzsér, Vági - Simon, Papp, Bertus (Kecskés, 81.), Nikházi (Haraszti, 68.), Kulcsár - Szakály (Hahn, 68.)
Honvéd dominated at the outset but they weren't able to fashion any clear-cut chances.
After the break though, the hosts finally made their dominance count, Dániel Gazdag scoring with the team's first shot at goal. The pattern of the game changed thereafter with both sides creating opportunities to score but eventually Honvéd held out for a valuable three points.
The match was swiftly followed though by the departure of head coach Erik van der Meert from the club. A short statement on the club website confirmed that the dutchman's contract had been terminated with immediate effect and that an agreement was already in place with the new coach who would be announced on Monday and then start his duties in January. This person is Attila Supka, a former NBI league-winning coach with Debreceni VSC.
Erik van der Meert arrived at title-holders Honvéd on 28th May and led his tem to eight league wins, four draws and seven losses in his six-and-a-half-month tenure.
Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő 0–0 Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC
Balmazújváros, ref.: Andó-Szabó
Yellow cards: BAL: Rus (93.), MEZ: Hudák (49.), Góhér (95.)
Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő: Szécsi - Habovda, Rus, Póti, Uzoma - Kovács Á. (Andric, 77.), Sigér, Haris, Maiszuradze - Rácz (Zsiga, 46.), Arabuli (Fekete, 81.)
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC: Dombó - Lázár P., Hudák, Pillár, Vadnai - Mlinar (Veselinovic, 73.), Iszlai, Tóth B. (Strestik, 69.) - Koszta, Novák, Cseri (Góhér, 89.)
The deep mud didn't help the flow of this game, the ball becomng stuck in puddles on more than one occasion. Even so, the conditions can't be fully responsible for the poor quality fare on display, no one standing out for their excellence and instead many free-kicks being conceded, each side threatening from one of these in dangerous positions with Rácz going close for the hosts and Márk Koszta just failing to break the deadlock for the away team.
Little changed after the half-time break, the conditions and technical errors remaining at the fore. Balmaz perhaps threatened most in the snow and sleet but Mezőkövesd's keeper Dombo didn't need to make any tremendous saves in order to maintain a clean sheet, the goalless draw ultimately coming to pass but not helping either side much in their fights to avoid relegation.
Puskás Akadémia FC 2–1 Újpest FC (2–0)
Felcsút, ref.: Iványi
Goalscorers: PUS: Diallo (7.), Perosevic (37.), ÚJP: Obinna (57.)
Yellow cards: PUS: Knezevic (3.), Spandler (71.), Csilus Á. (74.), ÚJP: Novothny (43.), Tischler (64.), Obinna (82.)
Puskás Akadémia: Hegedüs L. - Csilus Á., Vanczák, Spandler, Balogh B. - Márkvárt (Zsidai 67.), Mevoungou (Bacelic-Grgic 77.), Szakály P. - U. Diallo (Szécsi 83.), Perosevic, Knezevic
Újpest: Pajovic - Pauljevic (Mohl 81.), Litauszki, Pávkovics, Balázs B. - Windecker, A. Diallo, Obinna, Nagy D. (Tischler 46.) - Simon K., Novothny
This match started with an erly goal for Puskás Akadémia's Ulysse Diallo, after which they settled for using counter-attacks to threaten further. Újpest had the bulk of possession but couldn't convert their few opportunities into goals. THe same couldn't be said of Felcsút's finest though, Perosevic's precise finish eight minutes from the half-time whistle doubling the home side's lead.
Újpest were more dangerous in the second half and duly halved the deficit, Obinna capitalising on a defensive error to get his name on the scoresheet. The visitors hit the woodwork later in the half but couldn't find an equaliser.
Diósgyőri VTK 3–2 Debreceni VSC (2–1)
Mezőkövesd, ref.: Bognár
Goalscorers: DIÓ: Ugrai (12.), Karan (17.), Busai (76.), DEB: Takács T. (36.), Tőzsér (82. pen)
Red cards: Jovanovic (45+1.), Ferenczi (96.)
Yellow cards: DIÓ: Vela (53.), Kocsis (73.), DEB: Könyves (53.), Kinyik (55.), Ferenczi (95., 96.)
Diósgyőri VTK: Antal - Nagy T., Lipták, Karan, Tamás - Kocsis, Vela, Busai (Eperjesi, 89.) - Joannidisz (Szarka, 75.), Ugrai (Tóth B., 95.), Bacsa
Debreceni VSC: Novota - Bényei (Sós, 87.), Szatmári, Ferenczi J., Kinyik - Bódi, Tőzsér, Jovanovic, Varga K. (Filip, 46.) - Könyves, Takács T. (Mengolo, 71.)
Diósgyőr started their fixture against Debrecen with plenty of vim and vigour and soon launched themselves into a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Ugrai and Karan but they couldn't march on further from there and instead it was Debrecen who hit back through Tibor Takács' 36th-minute goal. The visitors' task looked all the harder though when Jovanovic was dismissed in first-half added time.
The hosts, one man up, predictably dominated the opening exchanges of the second period but started to gradually concede territory to Debrecen and they were nearly punished when Ferenczi took aim, but he could only hit the woodwork. Diósgyőr's plan was to catch out their opponents on the counter when they'd advanced too far up the pitch and it worked a treat, Busai striking to restore their two-goal advantage with 14 minutes left. To their credit, Debrecen didn't give up and after Ferenczi had missed a great chance, they pulled a goal back through Dániel Tőzsér's 82nd-minute penalty.
The Eastern-Hungarian club even created chances to level matters but instead they ended the match pointless and with only nine men on the pitch, Ferenczi ending an eventful match for him personally with a red card for a second booking within the space of two minutes in added time.
Swietelsky Haladás–Videoton 1–0 (0–0)
Szombathely, ref.: Kassai
Goalscorer: Mészáros (92.)
Yellow cards: Wils (24.), Mészáros (90.), illetve Nego (29.), Fejes (33.), Pátkai (67.), Hadzic (79.)
Swietelsky Haladás: Király - Schimmer, Wils, Németh Mi., Bosnjak - Grumic, Németh Má. (Kovács L., 59.) - Mészáros, Rácz, Halmosi (Pinte, 74.) - Ramos (Williams, 46.)
Videoton FC: Kovácsik - Nego, Tóth B., Fejes, Stopira - Suljic, Varga J. (Kovács I., 76.), Hadzic - Pátkai - Henty (Szabó B., 89.), Lazovic
A roller-coaster first half in Szombathely ended goalless as both sides engaged in a spirited battle but it could have been different if Márió Németh hadn't miseed a 44th-minute penalty. Videoton took the attacking initiative in the early throes of the second half and were also awarded a penalty, one which Lazovic also missed. An enjoyable contest saw chances come and go for both sides before Mészáros took the glory and the three points for the home team with a 92nd-minute winner.
Vasas FC 0–2 Ferencváros (0–1)
Szusza Ferenc Stadion, ref.: Pintér
Goalscorers: FTC: Lovrencsics B. (2.), Gorriaran (92.)
Yellow cards: VAS: Szivacski (59.), FTC: Spirovski (89.)
Vasas: Kamenár - Benes, Burmeister, Vaskó - Szivacski (Vogyicska, 82.), Berecz, Vida, Gaál, Remili (Ferenczi, 79.) - Pavlov, Ádám
Ferencváros: Dibusz - Lovrencsics G. (Pedroso, a szünetben), Otigba, Blazic, Botka - Leandro, Spirovski, Gorriaran - Paintsil, Varga (Batik, 81.) - Lovrencsics B. (Priskin, 79.)
Ferencváros claimed an important win in this last round before the winter break to propel themselves above previous table-toppers Videoton and lead the NB I championship for the next two months at least. This meeting with Vasas on Saturday evening saw Fradi close the year with goals two minutes after the start of the match, Balázs Lovrencsics heading in Roland Varga's corner, and two minutes before the final whistle, when Gorriaran capped a fine debut half-season with a strike after a swift counter-attack to secure the three points for Thomas Doll's charges.
Vasas last produced a league win back in October in a rearranged fixture with Haladás and are slipping worryingly towards the relegation zone with just two points garnered from their last seven fixtures. Here, they attacked with bravery at times but they couldn't find an equaliser after that early blow and were always at risk of being punished further by the home team's dangerous forwards.
Ferencváros now hold a three-point lead over Videoton in second spot with third-placed Debrecen a further seven points off the pace on 31.
NB I table:
1. Ferencvárosi TC 19 12 5 2 38-17 41 points
2. Videoton FC 19 11 5 3 41-22 38
3. Debreceni VSC 19 9 4 6 34-23 31
4. Budapest Honvéd 19 8 4 7 31-30 28
5. Újpest FC 19 6 8 5 26-25 26
6. Diósgyőri VTK 19 7 4 8 32-30 25
7. Paksi FC 19 6 6 7 27-30 24
8. Puskás Akadémia 19 6 5 8 26-31 23
9. Vasas FC 19 6 3 10 24-37 21
10. Swietelsky Haladás 19 6 2 11 19-33 20
11. Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő 19 4 7 8 24-28 19
12. Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC 19 3 7 9 20-36 16
Top goalscorers' chart:
Varga R. (Ferencváros)
Knezevic (Puskás Akadémia), Lazovic (Videoton), Novothny (Újpest)
The schedule for the 20th round on 24th February:
Videoton FC–Vasas FC
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC–Puskás Akadémia FC
Debreceni VSC–Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Paksi FC–Diósgyőri VTK
Újpest FC–Swietelsky Haladás