OTP Bank Liga: Fradi back on top ahead of next week's six-pointer
In stark contrast to the four draws from six matches last time out, this weekend's 28th round of OTP fixtures resulted in six decisive results, the most surprising of which was Videoton's single-goal defeat at Paks which has allowed Ferencváros to regain their place at the summit courtesy of a 2-1 home success against Haladás. Elsewhere, bottom club Vasas won away in Debrecen, a result which propels them out of the drop zone at the expense of Balmazújváros with Mezőkövesd now propping up the table.
Puskás Akadémia FC 3-1 Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő (HT: 1-1)
Goalscorers: PUS: Knezevic (22. pen.), Radó (79.), Diallo (95.), BAL: Erdei (17.)
Yellow cards: PUS: Szakály P. (10.), Zsidai (56.), Diallo (72.), BAL: Erdei (17.), Tamás L. (23.), Vajda (92.)
Puskás Akadémia: Hegedüs L. - Osváth, Hegedűs J., Spandler, Trajkovski - Molnár G. (Diallo, 64.), Knezevic, Szakály P. (Zsidai, 46.), Balogh B. - Perosevic (Radó, 74.), Henty
Balmazújváros: Horváth L. - Habovda, Rus, Tamás L., Uzoma - Vajda, Sigér, Maiszuradze (Kónya, 85.), Haris - Erdei (Jagodics, 69.), Kamarás (Batarelo, 69.)
Carlo Erdei's superb stike but the visitors ahead in the 17th mnute at the Pancho Aréna but the scores were level gain five minutes later thanks to Josip Knezevic's penalty. A well-contested first half ended with a tremendous block by Puskás Akadémia goalkeeper Lajos Hegedüs in response to György Kamarás' close-range effort. The second period became more of an attritional battle featuring numerous tactical fouls and little goalmouth action, at least until the 79th minute when the hosts regained their lead, substitute András Radó powering a shot into the net to conclude a flowing team move which he himself had started. Diallo then secured the win with a routine finish in added time to extend coach Attila Pintér's unbeaten league run to five matches - three wins and two draws.
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC 1-2 Budapest Honvéd (1-2)
Goalscorers: MEZ: Tóth B. (22.), HON: Eppel (12.), Lanzafame (25.)
Yellow cards: MEZ: Hudák (11.), Bognár (94.), HON: Heffler (47.), Baráth (76.), Lanzafame (78.), Gróf (87.), Tömösvári (96.)
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC: Dombó - Farkas, Hudák, Katanec, Szalai - Iszlai, Tóth B. (Novák, 78.) - Cseri (Koszta, 59.), Misák (Bognár, 46.), Vadnai - Drazic
Budapest Honvéd: Gróf - Bobál D., Kamber, Baráth - Ikenne-King, Holander (Kukoc, 71.) - Heffler, Gazdag, Májer (Tömösvári, 62.) - Eppel (Danilo, 86.), Lanzafame
All the goals in this encounter came in the first 25 minutes, Tóth cancelling out Eppel's 12th-minute opener before Lanzafame capitalised on a defensive error to restore Honvéd's lead, one which they wouldn't relinquish again, thereby posting their first away win since October. Mezőkövesd, meanwhile, are now winless in five games and slip to bottom place in the league.
Paksi FC 1-0 Videoton FC (0-0)
Goalscorers: PAKS: Haraszti (67.)
Yellow cards: PAKS: Gévay (55.), Szabó J (72.), VID: Pátkai (18.), Juhász (58.), Nikolov (91.)
Paks: Rácz G. - Fejes, Lenzsér, Gévay, Szabó J. - Haraszti (Hajdú, 89.), Kecskés T., Simon Á., Bertus, Hahn (Szakály D., 82.) - Simon A. (Bartha, 46.)
Videoton FC: Kovácsik - Nego, Juhász, Fiola, Stopira - Kovács (Tamás, 82.), Pátkai (E. Hadzic, 79.), A. Hadzic (Nikolov, 40.) - Huszti - M. Scepovic, S. Scepovic
Videoton dominate the first 25 minutes of this contest but they weren't incisive enough and Paks defended in an organised fashion, thus the game remained goalless. The hosts' first shot on goal only came around the half-hour mark when Haraszti tricked his way into the Vidi penalty area and fired the ball towards the bottom-left corner of the goal, only for Ádám Kovácsik to save well at full-stretch. The second half was a more even affair and it was the hosts who finally found a way to break the deadlock, Videoton defender Attila Fiola slipping while back-pedalling to try to thwart a swift counter-attack and Haraszti making no mistake after Kovácsik had repelled a Paks player's initial effort. The league leaders at the start of the day couldn't find a way to an equaliser in the last 23 minutes plus added time so Paks, more dangerous in the attacking third, deservedly took all three points - together with their point earned away at Fradi last week, they have now earned four points against the two league title contenders. Videoton, though, lost for the first time in nine games and slip to second place.
Debreceni VSC 2-3 Vasas (0-2)
Goalscorers: DEB: Tabakovic (81., 84.), VAS: Egerszegi (9., 24.), Benes (51.)
Yellow cards: DEB: Filip (51.), Tőzsér (57.), VAS: Ristevski (8.), Ádám (43., 76.), Vida (47.), Vogyicska (90.)
Red card: Ádám (76.)
DVSC: Nagy S. - Bényei, Kinyik, Szatmári, Barna (Tabakovic, 57.) - Jovanovic, Filip, Tőzsér, Soós - Könyves (Takács, 15.), Mengolo (Tisza, 52.)
Vasas: Nagy G. - Burmeister, James, Benes - Szivacski (Vogyicska, 58.), Vida, Egerszegi, Ristevski (Vaskó, 80.), Hangya - Ádám, Barczi (Pavlov, 88.)
Vasas took an early lead when Egerszegi scored in the ninth minute, the Budapest club having just seen Ristevski's effort ruled out for offside, and the central midfielder doubled his own and his team's tally 15 minutes later. Debrecen were well off the pace and it was no surprise when Vasas' Benes scored a third goal for his team in the 51st minute but Ádám's 76th-minute dismissal for two yellow cards gave 'Loki' some hope, two goals in the last ten minutes from Tabakovic setting up a grandstand finish. Vasas were not to be denied their victory though, these three points meaning they now climb out of the relegation zone.
Újpest FC 1-0 Diósgyőri VTK (1-0)
Szusza Ferenc Stadion, 2862 spectators, ref.: Iványi
Goalscorers: ÚJP: Novothny (18.)
Yellow card: DIÓ: Lipták (31.)
Újpest FC: Pajovic - Balázs B. Litauszki, Kálnoki Kis, Burekovic - Pauljevic (Mohl, 92.), Nagy D. (Cseke, 89.), Onovo, Zsótér (Szűcs K., 59.), Nwobodo - Novothny
Diósgyőr: Antal - Vela, Karan, Lipták (Eperjesi, 46.), Tamás M. - Kocsis G., Busai (Szarka Á., 57.), Ternován (Óvári, 72.) - Bacsa, Makrai, Joannidis
Újpest were out of the traps quickly and took the lead from their fourth clear opportunity of the match with only 18 minutes gone, Soma Novothny leaping highest to send a close-range header into his former team Diósgyőr's net for his 16th goal of a productive season thus far. The game actually begin more even after his strike but the 2,862 fans present had to wait until first-half added time for more goalmouth action, Újpest goalkeeper Filip Pajovic saving we twice during the same Diósgyőr move. Diósgyőr were braver in their search for an equaliser in the second half but ultimately unsuccessful, a loss which means they've only gained one point from three league matches against Újpest this season and remain without a OTP Bank liga win since early March.
Ferencvárosi TC 2-1 Swietelsky Haladás (1-1)
Goalscorers: FTC: Paintsil (38.), Blazic (68.), HAL: Williams (7.)
Yellow cards: HAL: Rózsa (32.), Bamgboye (91.)
Ferencváros: Dibusz - Lovrencsics G., Blazic, Otigba, Botka - Gorriarán (Nagy, 73.), Koch (Moutari, 61.) - Varga R. (Lovrencsics, 83.), Paintsil, Spirovski - Böde
Haladás: Rózsa - Schimmer, Kolcák, Wils, Bosnjak - Jagodics - Németh Márió (Bamgboye, 58.), Rácz (Pinze, 77.), Németh Milán (Halmosi, 70.) - Williams, Grumic
Fradi's visitors from Szombathely took a shock early lead through Williams but that would be as good as it got for the away side, Joseph Paintsil equalising before half-time and Haladás goalkeeper Rózsa performing impressively to ensure his team staying level. Parity only lasted until the 68th minute though when Otigba cannoned a header off the crossbar and Blazic knocked in the rebound. Haladás were unable to make it 2-2 and thus Fradi posted an important victory which sent them back to the top of the league above their only title rivals, Videoton. Next week, Ferencváros travel to Videoton in what is shaping up to be a crucial fixture in deciding which team will become champions in the 2017/18 campaign.