The stage is set for a photo finish after a thrilling NB1 round 28. Videoton stumbled in Budapest and Vasas pipped Honvéd leaving just 3 points separating the top 3 sides. It was also a day for firsts as we saw the first hat trick of the season, and Paks’ unbeaten run at home was brought to an end against relegation-threatened Diósgyor. Read on for a recap of all of the action from round 28.
Debrecen 4-2 Haladás
My prediction: Debrecen 1-2 Haladás
Holman brace humbles Haladás
Dávid Holman’s first goals since November led the way for Loki as they outgunned Haladás 4-2 at Nagyerdei Stadion. It was Debrecen’s fourth victory in their last seven matches, one shy of their total through their first 21.
Debrecen set their stall to attack and poured forward early on. Their industry gave them an early lead as a sweet one-two between Haris Handzic and Dávid Holman drew Gábor Király to his near post allowing Handzic to finished neatly into an open goal on 16 minutes.
Loki almost made it 2-0 a minute later when Csaba Szatmári headed a corner on target but Király swatted at the ball and it incredibly came off his shoulder like a rocket and cleared. Right place at the right time for the veteran keeper.
Haladás got back into the game when David Williams volleyed a loose ball from outside of the area beyond the keeper’s reach and inside the far post for a beautiful goal. It was the Aussie’s 5th in his last six games.
Just two minutes later and Debrecen reclaimed the lead. Ioan Filip burst through the middle and drew two defenders before slipping the ball left for Holman who slotted past Király inside the near post.
The day was well and truly Holman’s as he increased his side’s lead to 3-1 with a shot from the penalty arc that dipped right over Király, hit the bottom of the bar and bounced into the roof of the net. It was a stunning strike from the Loki hit-man who hadn’t scored since last year.
Debrecen’s fourth goal was comical as Norbert Könyves pounced on a weakly headed back pass and drilled a low shot into the far corner with Király completely stranded.
With the outcome well in hand for the hosts, Haladás got a late consolation with Debrecen’s defense not looking very focused. Péter Halmosi was played down the left wing and he passed it inside for Máté Tóth who had enough time to pop the ball up and strike a beautiful volley beyond the dive of Debrecen keeper Branislav Danilovic. It was too little too late as the hosts drilled it down in the final few minutes.
Gyirmót 2-3 Ferencváros
My prediction: Gyirmót 1-2 Ferencváros
Gera hat trick spares Fradi blushes
Birthday boy Zoltán Gera hit the target three times to lift Ferencváros to an important three points. It was the first hat trick in the league by any player this season and all 3 goals were needed against an impressive Gyirmót side that almost earned a share of the points at the death.
After losing consecutive matches for the first time in a while, a third consecutive defeat for Fradi would have increased the already high pressure on Thomas Doll and his players. Zoltán Gera was in the mood and the 38-year old signaled his intent early with a shot from 30 yards that was saved comfortably by Oleksandr Nad.
Then, in spectacular fashion, Gyirmót took the lead as a dipping drive from range by Krisztián Tamás came off the crossbar and was nodded home by Csanád Novák on 21 minutes.
It didn’t take long for Fradi to equalize as László Kleinheisler curled a left-footed cross into the area from the right wing and Gera turned it past Nad with a glancing header to make it 1-1.
Two minutes later Gera was at it again. This time it was a Roland Varga free kick that he met with a thumping, downward header that gave Nad no chance and Fradi were in front.
The guests were humming and a swift counter-attack almost earned Ferenváros a third before the break but Amadou Moutari’s chance was wasted as he drilled his uncontested shot wide of the mark.
Gyirmót looked to have leveled before halftime but Norbert Csiki’s tap-in was rightfully ruled out for offside.
Thomas Doll’s defense looked wayward in the second half. They drifted around like zombies on a Gyirmót counter and allowed Máté Kiss to collect a loose ball at the top of the area before hitting a fierce drive at Ádám Holczer who, thankfully for his absent defense, blocked the shot.
But the champions were alway going to win this with their attack and determined run by Varga saw him fouled inside the area and Gera stepped up to easily stroke home the penalty.
They needed every bit of their cushion, however, as the hosts battled back. With 13 minutes remaining a long ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by the Fradi defense and Krisztián Tamás drilled a shot through a crowd and inside the far post for 3-2.
A minute later Márk Madadrász clattered the far post with a free kick and Ferencváros had trouble clearing the rebound which led to another shot that flashed just over.
Gyirmót continued to used the long ball and as full time approached another direct ball to the top of the box was collected by János Máté who was deemed to have been brought down by Oliver Hüsing and the referee pointed to the spot. András Simon stepped up to give the hosts a deserved share of the points from the spot but Holczer guessed right and beat the ball away to ensure a nervy victory for Doll’s desperate charges.
MTK Budapest 1-1 Videoton
My prediction: MTK Budapest 0-1 Videoton
Physical MTK deny Vidi
Videoton were denied maximum points as MTK responded to an early goal with one of their own and then muscled their way to a share of the spoils.
It didn’t take long for Videoton to flex some attacking muscle of their own and a shot from Marko Scepovic was deflected inside the area and fell to Mirko Maric who swept home the loose ball for an early lead. It was the first goal MTK keeper Danijel Petkovic conceded in 309 minutes of play.
The lead didn’t last long for the league-leaders as Yuri Kolomoets leveled just 3 minutes later. A long ball into the area was brought down by Ákos Baki who knocked it back to Kolomoets. The Ukrainian forward overran the ball at first, drawing the defense to his right before he spun around and curled a shot inside the far post. He celebrated as if he knew what he was doing all along but it didn’t matter if the move was intentional or not because the finish was sublime.
Vidi looked to have gone ahead a few minutes later when a defensive mistake saw Maric round the keeper and slip the ball into an open goal only to see the flag go up for offside.
A great cross from Stopira after the half hour somehow rolled across the six-yard box and evaded two Videoton players crashing the goal.
MTK came close in the second half when Baki and Torghelle played a nice one-two allowing Baki in behind the defense. He tried to chip the ball over the keeper to Myke but Vinícius was there to break it up and clear the danger.
Videoton began to get back into the game as Henning Berg brought on Krisztián Géresi for József Varga and the pressure began to build. MTK were forced to foul to keep them at bay and they were issued 6 cautions by referee Csaba Pintér in their fierce defense of a result. One such foul gave Scepovic a perfect chance to show off his free kick skills and his shot was spot on but Petkovic was able to tip it off the bar to deny the visitors.
A couple of minutes later Loïc Nego nodded home a chip into the area but it was ruled out for offside.
Then, deep into injury time, fate handed MTK multiple chances to get a winner as Kevin Korozmán broke free on a counter attack and raced into the area before unleashing a shot that hit a trailing defender. The loose ball was played to Máté Katona who pushed it across to a wide-open Sándor Torghelle who had the keeper at his mercy but played the ball back across the goal. Korozmán pounced on the ball and was denied by the desperate lunge of Ádám Bódi. It was a crazy finish to a match that displayed some porous defending and a dearth of precision from both teams, promising much but delivering very little in the end.
Mezőkövesd 1-3 Újpest
My prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-2 Újpest
Lilák breeze past Mezo
Nebojsa Vignjevic’s boys showed what they could do on attack as they scored twice by halftime and cruised to an easy win against Mezőkövesd.
Lilák have actually gotten better results away from home this season and it proved to be true again as they tested goalkeeper Tomas Tujvel early and often. Balázs Balogh was first to test him with a curling shot from the edge of the area before the home supporters were settled in their seats.
The visitors’ pressure finally told after the half hour when a cross from Nemanja Andric was dummied by Enis Bardhi in front of the goal and it found it’s way inside the far post. It was Andric’s 5th goal of the season and first since December.
Then Bardhi joined the festivities 3 minutes later as he screwed a low shot beyond the reach of Tujvel’s dive and found the bottom corner for his second goal in as many games.
Tujvel was not at his best, but his defense did little to help as well when Újpest made it 3-0 on 72 minutes. Benjamin Balázs beat a defender and took a shot that fizzed past two Mezőkövesd players and beat Tujvel inside his near post.
It could have been 4-0 if Tujvel didn’t make a superb stop a couple of minutes later on Balázs who was played into space by Bardhi inside the box, but the Slovakian got a hand to the shot and it dithered wide.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Viktor Kassai dismissed Branko Pauljevic for a second bookable offense as he fouled Kristof Szucs trying to cut past him on the byline. Despite being a man down for the final minutes, the hosts did manage a consolation goal as Stipe Bacelic-Grgic tapped home a loose ball after teammate Ulysse Diallo had done all the work.
It was a good win for Újpest who jumped two spots to fifth place, passing Paks and Haladás.
Paks 0-1 Diósgyor
My prediction: Paks 2-0 Diósgyor
Ugrai strike downs Paks
Of all the teams to end Paks’ home unbeaten run it was lowly Diósgyor who held on to an early lead and ground out a massively important and unlikely 3 points at the Fortress.
It didn’t seem like much at first, but DVTK were up before the quarter hour when a Roland Ugrai free kick from just outside of the area squeezed through a crowd of players and inside the far post for an early lead. It was only the third time this season a team had grabbed an early lead at Paksi stadium other than the hosts. Videoton and Újpest had done it earlier in the campaign but Paks managed to fight back to draw with both of them. Diósgyor went ahead after the hour in their first trip to Fehérvári úti back in August, but two late goals gave the hosts the win in that one.
Paks didn’t seem to have that same spirit in this one. Diósgyor continued to dominate and it looked like they wanted it more.
The hosts did create a splendid chance before the break when Denés Szakály played János Hahn into space. Hahn fired a low shot that was expertly saved by Botond Antal to his left.
Neither team really troubled the other’s goal and there was no home magic to be found in this one as their supporters went home disappointed.
Vasas 1-0 Honvéd
My prediction: Vasas 2-1 Honvéd
Burmeister finds the “right” goal as Vasas edge Honvéd
Felix Burmeister found the net for the third time this season but this time in was in the opposition’s goal as Vasas continued their home dominance over Honvéd. Goalkeeper Gergely Nagy also denied Davide Lanzafame from the spot to earn the win and create chaos at the top of the NB1 table.
Honvéd looked fired up for this one as the game got underway. Donát Zsótér burst through the middle and attempted a shot from edge of the area as the Vasas defenders closed in, but it drifted wide of the mark.
At the other end Dávid Gróf had to be sharp to turn aside a low shot from Máté Vida a few minutes later.
Márton Eppel made a determined run down the left and lost his marker with a deft move before cutting back into the top of the area for Lanzafame and Dániel Gazdag running through but the ball was cleared.
Gróf was called upon again at the half hour mark when Vasas’ Bálint Gaál found Zsombor Berecz drifting into the area unmarked but the Honvéd keeper was equal to the attempt and he kept the sides level.
Vasas’ goal came before the break as a deep cross from Szilveszter Hangya had Gróf in two minds as he raced out to cut down the angle on Mahir Saglik, but the Turkish striker chipped over the Kispest keeper to Burmeister who bundled the ball over the line from close range. After scoring two own-goals this season it was Burmeister’s first goal for his club this season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Honvéd had their chance to level on the hour after a clumsy challenge by Zsolt Korcsmár brought down Lanzafame in the area, but the resulting penalty by the Italian was kept out by Gergely Nagy in the Vasas goal.
Nagy did well again to deny Kispest at the death when a cross from Lanzafame was headed back to the top of the six yard box by Botond Barath where Márk Koszta’s effort was blocked by the Vasas keeper. It was a great, last-ditch effort by the visitors but they fell just short leaving a three horse race heading into the final five matches.