NB1 – round 25 review

Late drama marked NB1’s Round 25 as no less than 3 games were decided in the final 2 minutes or injury time. Read on for comprehensive reviews of all of Saturday’s action that witnessed Honvéd’s return to the summit, another mis-step by Fradi, and an inspirational Vasas stunner that cut Videoton down to size.

Debrecen 2-1 Gyirmót
My prediction: Debrecen 2-1 Gyirmót

Fortune shone on Leonel Pontes again as Norbert Mészáros scored a late winner to give Debrecen two dramatic victories on the bounce.

It didn’t start out great for Debrecen who were behind within the first 8 minutes. A high, arcing corner from Máté Kiss found András Simon rising highest at the far post where he headed back across goal and in to give Gyirmót the lead.
Debrecen slowly began to get into the game and concentrated their runs down the left flank. A Dávid Holman free kick was expertly kept out by Oleksandr Nad in the Gyirmót goal on 36 minutes, but Loki’s best first chance came a minute later to Frank Feltscher who drilled a low drive across the box that flashed past the far post with the keeper beaten.
The hosts were in high gear as the interval approached and Gyirmót had to hold off a frantic few minutes before the respite of the half time whistle came.
The second half picked up where the first half ended and the visitor’s defense had to resist more early pressure. It was just past the hour when the hosts broke through as Dusan Brkovic raced through the area to nod home a Dávid Holman corner.
It was all Debrecen at that point and they continued to abuse the left wing. Haris Handzic had been on for all of 30 seconds before sending a glorious left-footed cross to Holman lurking at the back post, but Nad somehow clawed it onto the woodwork and then pounced on the loose ball.
Goal scorer Brkovic was sent off for a second bookable offense on 66 minutes and the tide began to turn.
Branislav Danilovic did his part in the Debrecen goal with a fabulous double save on 69 minutes to keep Loki’s hopes for a win alive.
The visitors came a hair’s breadth away from going ahead after a defensive mistake gave Csanád Novák a chance to turn home a low, right wing cross, but defender Aleksandar Jovanovic was alert enough to sweep the ball off the line.
As time was running out it looked as if Loki’s desperate pushes would be in vain until a moment of brilliance came from substitute Norbert Mészáros who rose to meet a János Ferenczi cross and headed beyond the reach of Nad for the winner.

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

Jozséf Kanta and Sándor Torghelle’s return to the starting lineup led to second home win in a row for MTK. The duo took advantage of a poor Mezőkövesd performance to distance MTK from the relegation zone.

Kanta signaled his intent on 18 minutes when he played a nice one-two with Torghelle inside the area and curled a far post shot just wide. Torghelle nosed MTK ahead on 37 minutes when he ran onto a Bálint Borbély header. The big striker’s first shot was blocked but he regained control of the ball and flicked it home with the outside of his right boot. What was just as amazing was watching the rest of the MTK players look on as Sanyi took over knowing he could do it all – and he did.
Ákos Baki doubled the host’s lead before the break when he raced onto a Kanta pass at the edge of the area, cut the ball over to his left foot and curled a stunning shot into the top corner. Yuri Kolomoets almost added to MTK’s lead early in the second half when he was played in behind the defense, but Tomas Tujvel denied the Ukrainian with a superb save.
Mezőkövesd were playing like a team without passion or urgency and MTK were able to counter relentlessly but unable to get a third.
Tujvel made another great save on a Márk Nikházi shot that deflected off two defenders before being tipped over by the alert keeper.

Haladás 0-1 Honvéd
My prediction: Haladás 2-2 Honvéd

Márton Eppel scored his league-leading 11th goal of the season to give Honvéd a last-gasp victory and launch them to the top of the table in style.

Honvéd applied all the early pressure but never really tested goalkeeper Gábor Király in the early stages. In fact, the first real action came at the other end as Dávid Gróf had to tip a cross to keep Haladás off the score sheet as two players were lurking dangerously at his far post before the half hour.
The visitors almost grabbed the lead before the break when Djordje Kamber met a Davide Lanzafame free kick with a firm header that required an excellent reaction save by Király at his right hand post.
At the other end Gróf matched Király’s save with a fantastic tip off the bar on Bence Iszlai’s header.
Calls for penalties at either end fell on deaf ears. Both calls could have gone either way but József Erdös would allow the two teams to settle this one in the run of play.
Gróf would have Gergo Nagy to thank after the midfielder headed Predrag Bosnjak’s header off the line from a 73rd minute corner kick.
Király was solid if not spectacular in the Haladás goal throughout the second half, but he was caught ball-watching after a late looping cross from Donát Zsótér was met by Márton Eppel at the far post and, after a couple of ricochets, the ball ended up in the back of the net. There was almost a sting in the tail for Haladás as a nightmare header from Honvéd defender Botond Baráth wrong-footed Dávid Gróf and the ball hit the post and required a swat from the Honvéd keeper to end the danger. It was heartbreak for the hosts but elation for Kispest who now find themselves sitting atop the heap with 8 games remaining.

Videoton 1-2 Vasas
My prediction: Videoton 3-1 Vasas

Super sub Benedek Murka scored deep into injury time to give 10-man Vasas a spectacular win over league-leaders Videoton. It was a complete turnaround for a Vasas team that had looked prepared to drop out of the top four in current form and it couldn’t have had a more riveting finish.

Is there a venue more impressive looking than Pancho Arena? It was great backdrop for a memorable game that got off the ground quickly. Vasas’ Mohamed Remeli opened the scoring with a brilliant free kick into the upper corner to end Ádám Kovácsik’s goalless streak just shy of 450 minutes. It was the 31 year-old’s 3rd goal of the season and his first in 11 games. Remeli would be forced to leave the game shortly after with a leg injury and he was replaced by Bálint Gaál.
Videoton looked to counter quickly and Marco Scepovic came close for the hosts as he turned his marker inside out before forcing a save from Gergely Nagy with a low drive that was tipped past the far post.
At the other end it was Zsombor Berecz who tried a long range effort that beat Kovácsik but rattled the crossbar as half time approached. But before Vasas could get to the break with the lead Videoton equalized. Asmir Suljic tricked his way past one defender on the left and looked to cut the ball back to the waiting Scepovic running through, but Felix Burmeister swept the ball past Nagy for an own goal instead. It was déjà vu for the Vasas defender who scored an own goal for Debrecen last week as well.
Danko Lazovic and his Serbian strike partner Scepovic were linked by Anel Hadzic early in the second half as Hadzic collected a back heel from Lazovic and played Scepovic in behind the defense. Nagy came off his line quickly to block.
More great build up play by Henning Berg’s forwards led to another great opportunity as Lazovic was played into some space inside the area just before the hour but his shot lacked precision and went over.
Vasas created chances as well and Kovácsik was called upon to make a great stop on Berecz who had slipped in behind the defense. Kovácsik’s best work came in the 73rd minute when he tipped a Berecz shot onto his far post at full stretch and then recovered quickly to stonewall Mahir Saglik who was lurking dangerously nearby. It was a sensational display of goalkeeping by the Videoton custodian.
The game broke down a bit in the latter stages as referee Zsolt Szabó began to take a more active part in the proceedings. He dismissed both Szilveszter Hangya and Danko Lazovic after a tussle at midfield on 78 minutes. Tempers had been flaring but it looked as if Mr Szabó was the more flustered at that point. Then, with both teams reduced to ten men, Vasas’ Manjrekar James was given his marching orders as he was shown his second yellow for a foul on Máté Pátkai 8 minutes from time.
Magic happened in injury time as both teams looked resigned to share the points. But a burst of speed from Márk Kleisz on the right allowed him to gain the byline and he cut the ball back for substitute Benedek Murka who’s deflected shot looped over Kovácsik and in for the winner. It was chaos on the Vasas bench and in a moment the table was shaken up leaving Vidi looking up at Honvéd for the first time since February.

Újpest 1-1 Paks
My prediction: Újpest 1-2 Paks

Újpest cooled red-hot Paks thanks to a saved penalty by Zoltán Kovacs and a timely goal by substitute Jonathan Heris.

The Újpest defense did their team no favors as they were their own worst enemy once again. Dávid Kálnoki Kis made a late challenge on Zsolt Haraszti inside the box in what appeared to be a sure fire penalty early on, but Haraszti’s theatrics might have been too much for referee Ferenc Karakó’s tastes and the penalty wasn’t given. At the other end, a great through ball from Nemanja Andric put Balázs Balogh in on goal, but Balogh’s chip was swatted away at the last moment and the chance was gone.
Karakó showed little reluctance to give Paks a penalty on 23 minutes when Zsolt Szabó’s mazy run into the area was cut short by Benjámin Balázs. László Bártha easily slotted his spot kick past Zoltán Kovács for his 7th goal of the season.
Paks came close to doubling their lead when a quick counter allowed János Hahn a good opportunity from the edge of the area but he curled his shot over the bar. Then, a lovely ball from Lajos Bertus fell into the path of Ádám Hajdú who was clipped by the Újpest keeper and Karakó pointed to the spot for the second time in 7 minutes. This time Kovács guessed correctly to deny a penalty brace for Bártha.
The pressure mounted for Újpest and they were lucky to not go down another goal before and after the break as Paks used their speed to get behind the Lilák defense on the counter.
Enis Bardhi tried to conjure some early-season magic for the hosts with a wonderful effort from 50 yards that skimmed the top of the bar on 53 minutes. Bardhi came close again minutes later when his close-range header was directed over the bar.
Nebojsa Vignjevic replaced Andric with Jonathan Heris on 64 minutes and the Belgian defender had Lilák level less than 60 seconds later. Dávid Mohl played a great ball in for Bardhi from the left but it was nicked away by a defender. Heris was trailing the play, however, and he smashed the loose ball into the top of the net.
Újpest should have gone ahead just a couple of minutes later when Souleymane Diarra ripped a shot from the top of the area that clattered off the bottom of the crossbar and bounced clear. Unlucky.
This started a dominant spell for Lilák which ended with a headed goal by József Windecker but it was rightly ruled out for offside.
The draw was a fair result but both sides will rue their missed chances to take all the points.

Ferencváros 1-1 Diósgyor
My prediction: Ferencváros 3-1 Diósgyor

In the teams’ third meeting in 11 days Tamás Bódog had his strategy perfect as Diósgyor went up early and were able to hold off a second half assault by the hosts to earn a point at Groupama.

The visitors looked more interested in creating something in the early going and Nono’s industry on the right wing sent Soma Novothny into a dangerous position but his shot fizzed through the area and well wide of the far post.
Ferencváros’ first chance didn’t come until the half hour and it came off a DVTK player’s head. With Nono off the pitch injured, a long free kick came off the head of one of their own and off the crossbar. It all changed with halftime beckoning. A Nono free kick found Márk Tamás who rose above a sea of defender and lashed home a lightning header to give the visitors a shock lead.
Thomas Doll made a couple changes at the break, brining on Dániel Böde for István Bognár and Roland Varga on for Marco Djuricin up front. It was Varga that almost made immediate impact as he chased a long ball down the right channel and drilled a shot that beat Ivan Rados but hit the far post. Then, a clever Böde touch allowed Moutari Amadou a moment to sweep a left-footed attempt just past Rados’ right hand post.
With Fradi frustrated by a surprisingly solid Diósgyor defense it took a goalkeeping error for the hosts to level. A long ball from Tamás Hajnal allowed Varga to use his pace to get beyond the DVTK defense. Rados came off his line way too soon and Varga stroked his shot from outside the area past the keeper and into the yawning net for the leveler.
Gergo Lovrencsics had come on for László Kleinheisler earlier in the game, and Lovrencsics had a wide-angled attempt that deflected off the back of a defender and had Rados backpedaling, but the ball hit the bar and bounced over.
Gábor Eperjesi made an inch-perfect tackle on Böde deep into injury time to kill a gilt-edged scoring opportunity for the Fradi hitman. It was a great result for Bódog’s men leaving Doll to scratch his head as he was surely counting on three points at home against the relegation strugglers.

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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