NB1 – round 24 review

Honvéd closed the gap at the top with a solid win over Fradi as Paks held Vidi at the “Fortress of Fehérvári úti”. We saw the return of Patrick Mevoungou to the NB1 as he got his league debut for DVTK helping kick off the Tamás Bódog era with a win. We also saw Loki shock Vasas at home to justify Leonel Pontes’ continued stay of execution as manager at Debrecen.
Read on for a detailed review of all the games.

Diósgyor 3-1 Újpest

My prediction: Diósgyor 2-2 Újpest

Roland Ugrai led Diósgyor to a resounding 3-1 triumph over visiting Újpest. Ugrai scored one goal and assisted on the other two as they ended a four game skid in Tamás Bódog’s first league match as the new manager for DVTK.
It couldn’t have been a worse result for Újpest’s Nebojsa Vignjevic who watched his side crash to a 2-1 home defeat against Vasas in the Magyar Kupa earlier in the week. Then, falling to defeat against the bottom club in the league has to be worrisome for the Serbian supremo.
Things looked ugly early when a free kick from Nono found four Újpest defenders watching Dejan Karan connect with the ball at the far post, but Karan’s effort flashed wide of the post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
More poor defending led to the first goal as Roland Ugrai tracked down a loose ball on the left wing and slipped it through to a completely unmarked Gábor Makrai who turned and fired past Szabolcs Balajcza to put the hosts in front.
Diósgyor doubled their lead just past the half hour when Makrai dribbled into the area and was fouled by Bojan Sankovic. Ugrai sent Balajcza the wrong way from the spot to score his 3rd goal of the season.
Balajcza kept Lilák from disaster when his reflex save on a point blank shot from DVTK captain Zoltán Lipták denied the hosts a third goal heading into the break.
Diósgyor picked up right where they left off from the opening whistle of the second half and almost had the ball in the back of the net within ten seconds, but Makrai’s clever touch to split two defenders wasn’t matched by his finish as his controlled chip steered wide of the far post.
It was madness and Újpest looked like the team at the bottom of the table until they finally found a way back into the game. It was Souleymane Diarra who tracked down an angled ball on the left flank, cut inside and curled a right-footed cross that was met by János Lázok’s thumping, close range header to draw the visitors to within one.
More defensive lapses almost gifted the hosts another goal, however, as a low cross from Gábor Eperjesi was directed just outside the near post by Ákos Szarka who beat his defender to the ball.
Lilák missed an opportunity to draw level on the hour when a József Windecker free kick fell to both János Lázok and Balázs Balogh but neither could bundle it home on the far post and the chance went begging.
Vignjevic brought on Enis Bardi and Benjamin Cseke soon after but even their insertion couldn’t conjure up a much-needed equalizer.
The victory was sealed for the hosts when Dejan Karan drifted through the Újpest defense to head home a Roland Ugrai corner on 69 minutes. That was all for Lilák as the Tamás Bódog era at DVTK got off to a great start.

Gyirmót 1-0 MTK Budapest

My prediction: Gyirmót 1-1 MTK Budapest

Gyirmót won their first game since September thanks to András Simon’s first goal of the season in a game that offered little in terms of entertainment. The first half was tame at both ends. Chances were few and far between and came from shots outside the area or poorly executed set plays. However, one long range effort from Máté Kiss forced MTK keeper Danijel Petkovic into full stretch midway through the period.
The hosts had a chance early in the second half as a byline cut back fell to Bebeto whose side-footed effort was deflected by a defender and tipped away by Petkovic. Bebeto had another headed effort on 53 minutes that Petkovic made look far better than it was with a leaping dive to his right.
Next was Oleksiy Antonov who drilled a rising shot just over the far upper corner from the top of the box. His frustration was plain to see after the miss as he has yet to open his account for Gyirmót.
The hosts went ahead on 57 minutes when two deflected shots fell to the feet of Kiss who teed up András Simon at the top of the area. Simon took a touch and then drilled a bullet into the top corner giving Petkovic no chance.
It was only then that Vaszilisz Teodoru called Sándor Torghelle off the bench along with 17-year old András Schafer. Torghelle’s insertion was overdue, but handing a teenager his first team debut, down a goal in an important game away from home – that’s a big ask.
MTK was handed a gilt-edged change to level at the death as Torghelle was played into space inside the are with only the keeper to beat but his tame shot was expertly kept out by Zsolt Sebok and the home crowd went home happy.

Haladás 4-2 Mezőkövesd

My prediction: Haladás 0-2 Mezőkövesd

Haladás followed up their impressive win at Vasas with another over Mezőkövesd with David Williams returning to prominence as their main man up front.  Despite they visitors welcoming back a number of players from injury they weren’t difficult to solve.
Both keepers dealt with long range efforts early on but the hosts jumped to an early lead when Stef Wils out-jumped a defender and glanced Lóránt Kovács’ flick on inside the far post for his second goal of the season.
Mezőkövesd’s response came towards the end of the first half when Tarmo Kink chased down a long pass deep on the left side and curled a far post cross to Gábor Molnár who headed firmly back across the goal beyond Gábor Király for the equalizer.
Tomas Tujvel’s return in goal for Mezo was a welcome sight and if it wasn’t for him the scoreline could have been worse for the visitors. Before the break David Williams broke in behind the Mezőkövesd defense had Tujvel at his mercy but the big Slovakian came off his line to make a great save.
At the start of the second half, Tamás Szeles was adjudged to have fouled David Williams as he was running through the edge of the area and a penalty was awarded to the hosts. It seemed a questionable call to me but Bence Iszlai stroked it home for his fourth of the season.
More shoddy defending led to Haladás’ third goal as Williams split the defense with nice run onto a long pass. He held the ball long enough to play an inch perfect pass for Kovács who slid it past Tujvel and off the far post for 3-1.
Haladás continued to counter against Mezo’s desperate surges forward and Williams added a fourth as he ran onto another long ball and scored from the same spot as Kovács’ goal.
Tomislav Sivic finally took off the ineffective Lazar Veselinovic and his replacement, Roland Baracskai, scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.

Paks 0-0 Videoton

My prediction: Paks 1-1 Videoton

Paks extended their impressive home unbeaten run to 12 games this season by holding off league pacesetters Videoton at Fehérvari úti Stadion. Paks were incredibly resistant against a much more talented Vidi side.
The first real chance came to Danko Lazovic who was played into space, unmarked at the far post but was unable to control the ball well and the chance disappeared into the mist. The next chance was even closer as a Vidi free kick was headed off of Péter Molnár’s left hand post by his his own teammate Péter Zachán. Somehow the ball ended up in the keeper’s hands and Paks dodged another bullet.
The hosts were dangerous on set pieces and a dangerous Lajos Bertus free kick was alertly tipped over the bar by Videoton keeper Ádám Kovácsik on 33 minutes.
The start of the second half was bossed by an industrious Paks side but they were unable to really test Kovácsik. Lazovic had a half chance on 69 minutes when he was played into the penalty area and had a split second to get a shot off but it went right at the keeper and Molnár smothered it.
Paks continued to hunt for the opener and another dangerous ball from Bertus was flicked on by the head of János Szabó but Zachán was a step behind and could’t direct it past the keeper at the far post.
Lazovic must have felt like he should have stayed home when he was set up with a great ball from Marko Scepovic at the top of the area but he struck it on the bobble and it skied over the bar from 15 yards. Lazovic was talking to himself after just missing a free kick from long range with five minutes to go. It was a frustrating night for the Serb, but he’s not alone this season as plenty of quality players have been bedeviled by the ghosts of Ferhérvari úti.

Vasas 2-3 Debrecen

My prediction: Vasas 2-0 Debrecen

A late goal from substitute Norbert Könyves ended Vasas’ two-goal comeback and lifted Debrecen to a sensational win at Szusza Ferenc Stadion. Vasas were looking to stem a run of consecutive defeats and lowly Debrecen seemed an acceptable sacrifice to offer the fickle football gods, but Loki had other plans for Michael Oenning’s struggling side.
Things looked bad for Vasas less than two minutes when a poor pass between defenders at midfield allowed Hyun-Jun Suk to burst through behind them. With the desperate Vasas defense closing from behind he unselfishly laid the ball off for Frank Feltscher whose shot was deflected away by midfielder Márk Kleisz who threw himself in front of the shot.
Debrecen shocked the hosts on 26 minutes when Feltscher dipped and juked his way into space before finding Dániel Tozsér who ripped a low, left-footed shot past Gergely Nagy and in off the far post.
A goalkeeping battle ensued before the break as the game opened up. Mohamed Remeli’s 38th minute free kick was on target but well-saved by Branislav Danilovic in the Debrecen goal. Not one to be upstaged, Nagy made two incredible, full-stretch saves within a minute back in the Vasas goal before Danilovic answered at the other end with a magnificent save on Bálint Gaál’s volleyed effort. The next goal then was anti-climatic as Felix Burmeister attempted to clear a Hyun-Jun Suk cross but instead volleyed it past Nagy to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Then (because not enough had happened in the last 7 minutes of the first half), the hosts pulled one back as Kire Ristevski was fouled by Csaba Szatmári who popped up from the floor and gave the most innocent of looks before Martin Ádám converted the penalty for his 7th goal of the season.
In the second half Debrecen looked more likely to score in the first 20 minutes, but Vasas came into the game again with two close efforts before the 70th minute. Their persistence continued and was rewarded on 77 minutes as Tamás Vásko powerfully headed Remeli’s corner into the back of the net to level the score.
A few minutes later Debrecen could have quieted the crowd again as captain Dániel Tozsér was played into the penalty area and should have scored but he dallied on the ball and the danger was cleared. It was 8 minutes later that Könyves showed his skipper how it’s done when he collected a pass from Danilo Sekulic, dribbled past two defenders into the area, and drilled a low shot back across goal past Nagy’s despairing dive for the winner.
Debrecen manager Leonel Pontes must still be smiling.

Honvéd 2-1 Ferencváros

My prediction: Honvéd 0-1 Ferencváros

The last game of the day saw Honvéd exact some revenge on Ferencváros for their Magyar Kupa exit last month with a 2-1 win at Bozsik Stadion. The victory draws them to within a point of Videoton at the top.
The action started straight away as some poor communication between Fradi goalkeeper Dénes Dibusz and his defense led to a loose ball that had alarm klaxons sounding inside the visitor’s penalty area but the chance got away from Honvéd.
It was no matter, though, as the hosts opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a cracking shot from Donát Zsótér. The Kispest midfielder dribbled from midfield smashed his shot from outside the area beating Dibusz inside the far post.
Patrick Ikenne-King set up Márton Eppel a few minutes later but his shot was well saved by Dibusz as Honvéd looked in the mood for more.
The second goal came on the half hour as Patrik Hidi’s long ball over the top was run onto by Eppel who held off Michal Nalepa and knocked it past the onrushing keeper into the far corner of the net. Honvéd were purring.
A third looked on the cards when Ikenne-King threaded the needle with a pass to David Lanzafame who cut inside to put the ball on his right foot and drove a low shot that skimmed the outside of the post.
Ferencváros got one back before the break as they took advantage of the space behind Honvéd’s pushed up back line and Moutari Amadou controlled a pass from Dániel Böde and stroked it past Dávid Gróf.
The second half offered much less in terms of entertainment but it was just what the doctor ordered for Marco Rossi’s side who have clawed back to within touching distance of the top spot.

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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