NB1 – Round 23 review

Videoton increased their lead at the top while the rest of the chasers stumbled. Moutari Amadou struck in 13 seconds for Fradi and Leonel Pontes’ Loki took another hit. Read on for all the round 23 action.

Mezőkövesd 1-1 Gyrimót
My prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-1 Gyirmót

Gábor Molnár’s second half equalizer gave Mezőkövesd a deserved point against Gyirmót at Városi Stadion. Mezőkövesd were up for this one from the beginning and tested veteran Gyirmót keeper Zsolt Sebok with a couple of shots that he expertly kept out.
The visitors struck first on 22 minutes when an Oleksiy Antonov pass slotted through a crowd of players inside the six-yard box and and it was tapped home from close range by a surprised and delighted Mijusko Bojovic.
Gyirmót had momentum and continued to probe the Mezőkövesd defense. A lovely pass from the right side set up Antonov unmarked at the penalty spot, but the Ukrainian hashed his shot and it skied over the bar.
Early in the second half Mezo should have equalized off a corner as Molnár chipped the ball to the far post for Tarmo Kink who stabbed at the ball and it went across the goalmouth and just past the opposite post. Wasted chance.
It was one-way traffic for a while and Mezőkövesd should have been awarded a penalty as Bojovic clattered Lazar Veselinovic inside the area but Ádám Farkas waved it off.
Bebeto missed a sitter for Gyirmót on the hour as he drifted into the area and was fed a cutback cross from the byline but his shot lacked direction and it too went over the bar.
The visitors rued their missed chances when Mezo finally claimed their equalizer three minutes later. It was a lovely play as Dániel Farkas collected a pass on the right and chipped it with the outside of his boot for Molnár whose glancing header dipped over the Sebok’s reach and under the bar.
Sebok saved the points a few minutes later with an amazing display of goalkeeping. His double save on Stipe Bacelic-Grgic was a thing of beauty as he dove to make the initial save and the leapt cat-like to swat away the rebound.
The hosts had no shortage of chances to win this one as they continued to come forward but they were unable to find a winner in the end.

MTK Budapest 1-0 Vasas
My prediction: MTK Budapest 1-2 Vasas

In a game Vasas needed to win to keep pace with the title chasers they fell flat and were unable to find the net for just the second time four matches as they fell 1-0 to MTK. Vasas are struggling to find their early-season form and MTK were able to pounce as forward Sándor Torghelle returned to their lineup.
Martin Ádám could have put Vasas up early but his low drive from inside the area was pushed away by Danijel Petkovic at his right hand post. At the other end József Kanta found Myke with a perfectly-delivered free kick but his header came back off the crossbar.
Minutes later another Kanta free kick almost squeezed inside Gergely Nagy’s near post but he was able to get down in time to turn it aside.
The goal came just before the break as another dangerous Kanta free kick met Myke running through and it somehow bundled past Nagy to give the hosts the lead. It seemed as if Myke almost tripped over the ball accidentally but they don’t give extra points for style in this league.
Vasas’ back three was exploited down the flanks as Myke and Yuri Kolomoets had some freedom to use their pace. As Vasas continued to press for an equalizer they became more and more exposed at the back and were lucky not to have conceded a second or third.
Much improvement is needed in Michael Oenning’s side and they’ll have one more chance on Thursday night to right the ship against Haladás before the international break.

Debrecen 1-3 Paks
My prediction: Debrecen 1-1 Paks

Paks secured an important three points as they won their second home game in as many weeks and their third on the trot with a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Debrecen.
Loki actually had the early chances with a long shot from Dániel Tozsér that flashed past the far post in the 2nd minute, while a header from Hyun-Jun Suk was directed right at Péter Molnár who gratefully smothered the ball on 13 minutes.
More from Debrecen as Ioan Filip had a go from distance on 27 minutes that didn’t miss by much with Molnár at full stretch. Suk was in the mood as he got on the end of another cross and was a whisker away from the top corner.
Richárd Vernes almost put Paks ahead with a late first half free kick, but Branislav Danilovic made an acrobatic dive to keep it out as they teams went into the break goalless.
It wasn’t until the hour mark that Paks made the breakthrough and it came from a nice little exchange between Vernes and Zsolt Haraszti with the latter finishing low from a tight angle through Danilovic’s legs.
7 minutes later Tozser brought the Nagyerdei Stadion to life with a wonderfully struck free kick from 20 yards that gave Molnár no chance. It was a lifeline for Loki but it didn’t last long.
Haraszti was at it again with a shot from the right wing that was initially saved by Danilovic, but the rebound was met by Dávid Kulcsár who muscled his way between two defenders and firmly headed home for the lead.
Danilovic did everything he could to keep the hosts in the game with important saves on Tamás Koltai and Lajos Bertus in the final minutes, but Paks sealed the win with the goal of the round when substitute László Bartha magically flicked a Bertus corner past Danilovic with the cheekiest of back heels to add insult to injury.
This was a damaging result for Debrecen and Leonel Pontes. Will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the Portuguese boss? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Videoton 2-0 Diósgyor
My prediction: Videoton 4-0 Diósgyor

Videoton cruised to an expected victory over Diósgyor continuing their drive to reclaim the title. This wasn’t the clinical Videoton we’ve seen in recent weeks and, in fact, it took them a while to shift through the gears before troubling the visitors. Loïc Nego got the first real opportunity before the half hour when he created a bit of space for himself inside the area and rifled a shot that deflected off a defender and just over the bar.
The hosts went up soon after when Vinícius celebrated his Hungarian citizenship with his second goal of the season. The big defender made a near-post run to head home a Danko Lazovic corner putting Videoton ahead 1-0.
Before you could say Székesfehérvár it was 2-0. Marko Scepovic played Nego down the right channel and his shot was deflected by DVTK defender Vitalijs Jagodisnkis and past former Hull City youth player Erik Bukrán who was making his debut in goal.
Headers from Asmir Suljic and Máté Pátkai on either side of the break came close to extending Vidi’s lead. The visitors had no answer for Videoton’s defense during the run of play, and any set pieces or long throw-ins were dealt with easily as the hosts cantered to the finish line.

Újpest 1-1 Honvéd
My prediction: Újpest 2-2 Honvéd

Újpest got a last gasp winner from substitute Viktor Angelov a minute into injury time to give the hosts a share of the points agains Honvéd. It was a deserved result in an even matched game that started slowly. But on 18 minutes the game’s first chance fell to Lilák’s Nemanja Andric who burst forward with a head of steam and tried to beat the advancing David Grof but his shot sailed over the bar squandering a great chance to give his side an early lead. Most of the play continued in the Kispest end and Grof was called upon to make two saves at close range as Újpest were getting in behind the Honvéd defense.
The visitors went ahead against the run of play before the half hour. A poor clearance from Dávid Mohl was intercepted by Donát Zsótér who rifled past the diving Szabolcs Balajcza from the edge of the area for his first goal of the season. It was a stunning goal from the Honvéd midfielder and it started a period of dominance for the visitors.
Honvéd almost doubled their lead when another defensive mistake allowed David Lanzafame to break away all alone on Balajcza but the Újpest keeper seemed to make an inch-perfect tackle as the Italian tried to round him and the chance was gone. However, replays showed that Balajcza clearly missed the ball but claims for a penalty fell on deaf ears – a rare mistake from the veteran referee Viktor Kassai.
Újpest were unlucky a few minutes later as a Jonathan Heris thunderbolt from the edge of the area looked destined for inside the far post, but János Lázok headed it over the bar as he tried to redirect it past Grof.
With chances created at both ends in a lively second half, neither side were able to find the game’s second goal until Honvéd were unable to clear a late corner and Angelov slammed home the leveler from close range.

Ferencváros 3-1 Haladás
My prediction: Ferencváros 2-0 Haladás

Fradi didn’t take long to signal their intent in this one as they scored 13 seconds into the game and ran out easy 3-1 winners against visiting Haladás. Before most of the crowd had even settled in their seats Roland Varga swept a low, dangerous pass across the goal mouth to Moutari Amadou who threw himself at the ball and bundled it home inside the far post. It wasn’t even to 20 minutes when Varga was pushed from behind inside the penalty area and Gergely Zsots pointed to spot before booking the guilty party, Predrag Bosnjak. Zoltán Gera sent Gábor Király the other way and converted easily to make it 2-0.
Before halftime skipper Dániel Böde made it 3-0 as he picked up a loose ball at midfield and weaved his way past two defenders before firing an arrow into the top corner from 12 yards.
András Jancsó pulled one back for Haladás midway through the second half with a spectacular left footed shot from the top of the penalty arc that gave Dénes Dibusz no chance.
Fradi continued to dominate however, and they almost got a fourth when Böde fought off a nest of defenders at the edge of the area to tee up Gergo Lovrencsis whose shot flashed just wide of Király’s right hand post.
Király was spared a fourth against him even later when Lovrencsis pulled the ball back for Böde who collected the ball at the top of the area, beat a defender and slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs, but it was Kristóf Polgár to the rescue as he got a foot to the ball and deflected it away.
All in all it was a comprehensive win for Ferenváros at home and they are starting to look like a team that can win another title.

Author: Chris Barrett

Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Chris Barrett and I have played and coached football for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been fascinated by this sport all over the world and follow more leagues than the number of years behind me. I am not Hungarian, nor I have I lived in Hungary. Honestly, I decided to follow NBI this season (2016-17) because I’ve always admired the rich history of this country and its contribution to the evolution of tactics and strategy within the game. I’ve enjoyed watching the current national squad become more competitive over the years and I, like many other football fans from around the world, loved watching their story unfold in the Euros this past summer. I was born and raised in the United States which tends to makes me less credible in some circles and I understand that bias, but I’m working hard to understand not just the sport but the people and culture of Hungary. Thanks to Tomasz for allowing me to cut my teeth on this site, and to Gayle who has enlightened me on the culture (and drama) of the officiating side of things. Also a shout out to Gáby who has always made me feel welcome and has answered a lot of my early questions. I’m very grateful for the whole community here.

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