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.


NB1 - round 25 preview

It’s make or break time in the NB1 as teams are entering a busy period where they will play 3 games in 8 days. The title is still up for grabs with four teams close enough to be seriously considered. Vasas (3rd) and Ferencvaros (4th) have drifted, creating a six point gap between them and the top two. Honvéd crawled a bit closer to Videoton at the top while relegation battlers Gyirmót and Diósgyor both signaled their intent to climb out of danger with unlikely victories last week. Read on for an in-depth preview of Saturday’s games.

Debrecen (9th) vs Gyirmót (12th)
at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Debrecen continues to surprise as they defeated Vasas 3-2 last week despite the latter coming back from a two-goal deficit. It was a timely win for manager Leonel Pontes who continues to have the seemingly impossible task of keeping his job with so much pressure on results as end of the season draws closer. Loki did jump up to 9th place and are 3 points clear of danger. They face bottom side Gyirmót who have had a bit of a turnaround themselves in recent weeks.
István Urbányi’s side defeated MTK last week to register their first victory in 13 league games. It was a hard-fought result against an obstinate MTK side but Gyirmót were able to get maximum points for the first time since September and increase their impressive recent stretch of getting points in four of their last five matches. Gyirmót still lack an designated striker who is a proven goal-scorer. Both winters signings, Bebeto and Oleksiy Antonov, haven’t paid dividends on Gyirmót’s investment in terms of goals of late.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-1 Gyirmót
Two goals are the target for Loki as they have won every game they’ve scored multiples times so far. Gyirmót are scoring both home and away these days but they haven’t scored more than one goals since round 1 against Mezőkövesd in July.

Key facts:
– Debrecen have won both meetings against Gyirmot this season (4-0 home, 2-1 away).
– David Holman leads Debrecen in scoring with 5 goals but hasn’t scored since late November.
– Gyirmót are on their longest scoring run of the season, finding the net in each of their last four league matches.

MTK Budapest (10th) vs Mezőkövesd (8th)
at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Two teams with disappointing defeats last week will meet in Budapest on Saturday. MTK crashed to a 1-0 loss at basement dwellers Gyirmót; the first time they’d been held goalless in 7 games. For Vaszilisz Teodoru’s side they will need to find their scoring boots as Diósgyor are making up ground and could climb over them and out of the relegation zone with the right combination of results. Patrik Poór left the game against Gyirmót with a head injury with 15 minutes remaining and it’s not clear if he’ll be in the lineup. József Kanta will be back after serving his one match ban last week and that will be a massive boost as the skipper has been the creative force behind MTK’s attack.
Mezőkövesd have been a disaster since Tomislav Sivic has taken over. The departure of Attila Pintér has put the club in a downward spiral. With just one victory in their last five they have dropped from 5th place (1 point off the top four) to 8th place. They are now equidistant from the top four and from the drop and their current form suggests the latter if something doesn’t change. They have to sort out a defense that is shipping goals like crazy. One bright spot is that they’ve reached the semi finals of the Magyar Kupa but they conceded 5 goals over two legs against NBII side Szolnok in doing so. They also conceded four against a Haladás side that hadn’t reached that number all season. They were most efficient when they were playing a 4-2-3-1 with Vági, Hudak, Szeles, and Gohér on the back line. With Tomas Tujvel in goal this formation conceded just two goals over 7 games and defeated the like of Videoton and Ferencváros toward the end of the autumn season.

Prediction: MTK Budapest 2-1 Mezőkövesd
Mezőkövesd haven’t won in their last 5 away days and MTK are getting players back at the right time. I don’t see any other result happening here but a home win.

Key facts:
– Mezőkövesd have won both meetings against MTK this season by a 1-0 score line.
– József Kanta has been involved in more of MTK’s goals (3G, 6A) than any other player.
– Mezőkövesd have conceded as many goals in their last 4 games than they had in their previous 13.

Haladás (5th) vs Honvéd (2nd)
at Káposztás utcai Stadion, Sopron

This should be a fun one for the staff here at hungarianfootball.com as Tom’s Haladás takes on Gayle’s Honvéd in Sopron. Haladás are really in the mood for scoring of late with 7 goals over their last two matches. They’ve also won 3 of their last four to move up from 7th to 5th place since the spring season started. It’s hard getting past what David Williams has meant to the club over the past few weeks. The Australian striker has been able to fill the void left by Bálint Gaál and become the catalyst for his club’s attack. He’s been instrumental in six of the seven goals scored in the last two games as they are enjoying an upturn in form in the attacking third.
Honvéd got sweet revenge against Ferencváros last week, putting away the painful memory of being eliminated from the Magyar Kupa by Fradi in front of their own fans in early March. Last week’s win also allowed them to creep even closer to the top spot as Videoton got held at Paks. Donát Zsótér might be one to watch for Kispest here as he’s scored in each of their last two games.

Prediction: Haladás 2-2 Honvéd
Hali are in form at the moment and they could do well against a defense that has kept just one clean sheet in their last six away games. Honvéd will take their confidence into a tough match and be happy with a point.

Key facts:
– Haladas have lost just once in their last five meetings with Honvéd.
– Haladás forward David Williams has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last two games.
— Honvéd’s Márton Eppel has scored 5 goals in his last 8 games.

Videoton (1st) vs Vasas (3rd)
at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

This is another opportunity for Videoton to distance themselves from the chasing pack. In February this was a mouth-watering tie that many were looking forward to, but now the hosts are heavily favored as Vasas’ form has dipped dramatically in recent weeks. Videoton did as well as any team has done a Paks last week. Their goalless draw there was an important point against the hottest team in the league right now. Danko Lazovic was visibly frustrated throughout the game and he will be looking to get back onto the scoresheet as quickly as possible. Videoton goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik hasn’t conceded in 443 minutes. The record this season belongs to Gyirmót keeper Zsolt Sebok who strung together 611 minutes from late August through September, but Kovácsik will hope he can keep it up against Vasas.
Vasas managed to squeeze their way into the Magyar Kupa semi finals despite losing to Újpest at home on Wednesday. The defeat came off the back of three consecutive defeats in the league that have seen them drop to seven points off the pace for the title. It’s been a frustrating spring for Michael Oenning so far as he hasn’t been able to recreate the magic from the autumn. In their current form I can’t see them staying in the top four much longer.

Prediction: Videoton 3-1 Vasas
Videton are unstoppable at home and their lack of goals against Paks will only spur them on in this one. Vasas might in for a lesson here with Vidi’s Serbian attack as their teacher.

Key facts:
– Videoton are on a four-match home winning run (11 goals for, 1 conceded)
– Vasas have lost their last three league games.
– Vidi have kept four clean sheets in a row.

Újpest (7th) vs Paks (6th)
at Szusza Ferenc Stadion

The frustration at Újpest must be growing as their season is folding in on them. Despite winning 1-0 in the second leg of the Magyar Kupa on Wednesday they were eliminated by Vasas’ 2 away goals in the first leg. In the league Lilák have won just once since the winter break and their defense is the culprit. There was some hope that they were getting things in order as Enis Bardhi was injured and they were waiting for their talismanic midfielder to rejoin the squad but even his insertion couldn’t help them as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Diósgyor last week. If Bardhi can give a full 90 minutes it might be a boost but he only last 75 minutes on Wednesday.
I keep waiting for Paks to crash at any moment but they continue to defy the odds and have put together a fine run of form. Their home record has been legendary this season and they were able to use their home to its fullest advantage last week as they held league leaders Videoton to a goalless draw. Prior to that they’ve swept aside all opposition since early December to climb from 11th place to 6th. Aurél Csertoi has done a fantastic job with so little this season. With no stand out “star” he’s put together a strong “team” that have all contributed to a memorable run.

Prediction: Újpest 1-2 Paks
Paks won’t find playing at Szusza Ferenc Stadion easy but Újpest will do everything they can to make them feel at home.

Key facts:
– Újpest and Paks six of last seven meetings have seen 2 goals or less scored.
– Újpest have one only one of their last 8 home games.
– Paks are unbeaten in their last 7 with five victories.

Ferencváros (4th) vs Diósgyor (11th)
at Groupama Arena, Budapest

Ferencváros and Diósgyor are well acclimated to one another as they’ve played twice in the last two weeks. Fradi managed to squeeze past Tamás Bódog’s new charges to reach the semi finals of the Magyar Kupa with a goalless draw against them on Tuesday, winning 2-1 on aggregate. The champions didn’t blow them away by any stretch, however, and that can only continue building confidence for a club that’s come off a strong 3-1 against Újpest last week as well. Diósgyor looked headed for the drop until the arrival of Bódog who has stemmed a run of four straight defeats and made a good showing in the latter stages of the Cup.
Thomas Doll will be happy reaching the semi finals and drawn against NBII side Bodafok which will allow him to keep his stronger side in the league matches. They’ve had a difficult time scoring goals away this season but they’re second in scoring at home with 28 goals at Groupama. I think they took care of DVTK efficiently in the cup and they’ll hammer them in this one. They’ve already scored 9 goals against them this season in their two previous games and this one shouldn’t be much different.

Prediction: Ferencváros 3-1 Diósgyor
Fradi returns to normal service against a team that took advantage of a leaky defense last time out. Diósgyor’s win over Újpest was a blip on the radar and the champions should make quick work of them.

Key facts:
– Moutari Amadou and Zoltán Gera have each scored 2 goals in their past 3 games for Ferencváros.
– Diósgyor have lost their last five away games without scoring a goal.
– Fradi have conceded a league worst 17 goals at home so far this season.


NB1 Hungarian football

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.


Hungarian football

NBI Week 24 Results and Highlights with … @TheMakeleleRole

Tomasz Mortimer predicts the weekend's Hungarian NBI games against a football expert on Twitter who knows little to nothing about the Hungarian league.  For week 23 we welcome @TheMakeleleRole of Not the Top 20 Podcast. The person with the most points at the end of the season will receive £100 for their chosen charity. 

 

(Click result for highlights)

Tom Ali   Results
DVTK vs Újpest (1/04) 1-3 0-1  3-1
Gyirmót vs MTK (1/04 ) 1-1 1-2  1-0
Paks vs Videoton (1/04 ) 1-1 (1 pt) 3-1  0-0
Haladás vs Mezokovesd (1/04) 2-0 (1 pt) 0-0  4-2
Vasas vs Debrecen (1/04) 2-0 1-0  2-3
Honvéd vs Ferencváros (1/04) 1-1 2-1 (3 pts)  2-1

Points: Correct result = 1 point, Correct score = 3 points

Overall Table

Points Beat Tomasz?
Week 1 - @SloveniaFooty 3 x
Week 2 - @MonNightDawes 1 x
Week 3 - @FaeroskFodbold 4
Week 4 - @Kdschlewitz 0 x
Week 5 - @JongsmaJongsma  7
Week 6 - @Priya8Ramesh  3
Week 7 - @TomDanicek  1 Draw
Week 8 - @CDucksbury 1 x
Week 9 - @dan_bu 5
Week 10 - @meghanpatrice 3 x
Week 11 - @Hamoudi_F8 5
Week 12 - @Zonal_Marking 8
Week 13 - @_Zeets 2 x
Week 14 - @Lady_Weatherby 7
Week 15 - @UtdRantcast 5
Week 16 - @GameOfThrowIns 4
Week 17 - @ConorPacKelly 5 x
Week 18 - @RossDunbar93 5 x
Week 19 - @BenMcAleer1 6 x
Week 20 - @BillyDavidAbbot 2 (Game in hand) -
Week 21 - @davidpreece12 2 Draw
Week 22 - @Marottanomics 2 x
Week 23 - @redrobbery 5 Draw
Week 24 - @TheMakeleleRole  3

NB1 - round 24 preview

Two clashes that include four of the top five teams will provide the color for another exciting Saturday of NB1 football. Round 24 serves up some tantalizing matchups as Videoton travel to Paks in search of breaking the Nuclear-team’s impenetrable form at home. Another ‘all-capital’ affair pits Honvéd against Ferencváros in a top four battle. Grab a cup of coffee and read along as we take a look ahead of each game this weekend.

Diósgyor (11th) vs Újpest (7th)

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

New Diósgyor manager Tamás Bódog’s has been put to work to save the club from relegation. In his first match in charge they played Ferencváros in the Magyar Kupa on Wednesday getting an important away goal in a 2-1 defeat. Bódog also managed to secure former Mezőkövesd defensive midfielder Patrick Mevoungou before the Fradi game and he should be ready for Saturday’s game as well. They’ve been abysmal away from home this season but have been surprisingly competitive at home, winning five and scoring 16 goals in 11 games - not bad for a team that’s sitting in the relegation zone.
Újpest are coming off a disappointing Magyar Kupa quarterfinal 2-1 first leg defeat against Vasas and manager Nebojsa Vignjevic is not pleased. After the game he questioned his team’s commitment coming back from the international break and that only “6 or 7 players could rise to the challenge” of the pressure of a cup quarterfinal. Sounding gracious as ever, the irritation was there behind the manager’s eyes and he’ll expect a response in the match on Saturday.
Midfielder Enis Bardhi continues to miss out due to injury, but the return of Kylian Hazard has been encouraging though he has yet to start.
It also looks as if forward János Lazok and left back Dávid Mohl will both require late fitness tests to play. Mohl has played every minute of every game for Lilák so far this season.

Prediction: Diósgyor 2-2 Újpest
DVTK’s recent home form and the arrival of a new manager will be enough to push them to get a result here. Újpest will be gunning for points and have been consistent in their travels. Look for an open game with a few goals.

Key facts:
– Újpest are the only team in the league to have picked up more points away (16) than at home (15) this season.
– Diósgyor have won 3 of their last four league home games and have 11 goals in their last 6 league home games as well.
– DVTK have won their last seven home matches against Újpest. Liláks last win away was in 2009.

Gyirmót (12th) vs MTK Budapest (9th)

at Alcufer Stadion

Bottom side Gyirmót have had a bit of a revival in recent weeks picking up points in three of their last four matches. They’ve also scored a goal in their last 3 games which is impressive considering they had only scored twice in their previous 9. Their hottest goal scorer is defender Mijusko Bojovic who has netted twice in his last five games making him the only player in the squad with more than one goal.
MTK have won two of their last 3 matches moving them 5 points clear of the relegation zone. A notable point is that Sándor Torghelle hasn’t scored in their last three games. He was suspended for two matches and then was mostly conspicuous in their win against Vasas in the last round. Despite their turnaround, manager Vaszilisz Teodoru will have to deal without strong central midfielder Dániel Gera who underwent shoulder surgery this past week and is likely out for the season as he recovers.

Prediction: Gyirmót 1-1 MTK Budapest
MTK have been absent away from home this season and the loss of Gera will hurt them as the season goes on. Gyirmót have scored only 5 goals at home all season, but the last time MTK kept a clean sheet away from home was goalless draw against Paks in September.

Key facts:
– Gyirmót are without a victory in their last 12 league matches
– MTK have won just once away from home all season
– Gyirmót have scored a league lowest 11 goals in 23 games; MTK are second worse with 18 scored.

Paks (5th) vs Videoton (1st)

at Fehérvári úti Stadion

This is match of the round for me. Paks are on fire and they have somehow found their scoring boots which is a scary combination. They’ve jumped from 8th to 5th in the table since the winter break. Aurél Csertoi’s side have won 3 on the trot and two of those have been away from home. László Bartha, Dávid Kulcsár, and János Szabó have all scored two goals in their last three games.
Videoton have seized the pole position in NB1 and have poured it on in recent weeks. With three clean sheets in a row and the brilliant creativity of their front line they are always the favorites. Defender Vinícius got his first cap for Hungary after starting in their 3-0 defeat against Portugal on Saturday.

Prediction: Paks 1-1 Videoton
Paks are still the only team that haven’t suffered defeat at home and they’re no longer hanging on for dear life when playing away. They defeated Mezo 5-0 recently at “fortress Paks” and they continue to use their home turf as an advantage. Vidi are cruising and even with a rougher pitch they should still get something out of this one.

Key facts:
– Paks have just one defeat in their last ten (6W, 3D)
– Paks have scored 10 goals in their past 3 games - over a third of their season’s total
— Since 2011 Videoton have won just one of their last 7 meetings at Paks

Haladás (6th) vs Mezőkövesd (8th)

at Soproni Városi Stadion, Sopron

Géza Mészöly’s Haladás are coming off an impressive 3-2 win over Vasas last week. It was their second win in three and it saw the return of forward David Williams in terms of scoring goals. Haladas had been desperate for an out-and-out goalscorer to replace the prolific Bálint Gaál during the winter break and William’s brace was encouraging for the club and had to be a confidence-booster for the Australian.
Mezőkövesd have struggled since the start of the spring season but they will be receiving some key players back in the squad this week. In fact, goalkeeper Tomas Tujvel and defender Béla Balogh returned in a 3-1 midweek cup win against Szolnok, and defensive midfielder Dániel Hegedus is close to a return as well. Mezo looked like a different team and Tujvel brings experience, confidence and good communication from the back.

Prediction: Haladás 0-2 Mezőkövesd
I think Mezo have turned the corner in terms of injuries and they should return to the form they had before the winter break. Hali rode the back of an inspired performance by David Williams in their last game but it will be interesting to see if it was just a ‘one-off’ or it was the start of a good run for him.

Key facts:
– Haladás have conceded in 10 of their last 11 games
– Mezőkövesd have scored just twice in their last 6 away games
– Haladás haven’t defeated Mezőkövesd in two attempts this season

Vasas (3rd) vs Debrecen (10th)

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion

Bálint Gaál's return to his former club in a Vasas shirt was less that ideal last week as he came on with 20 minutes remaining and didn’t really make an impact in Vasas’ second defeat in five days. Michael Oenning’s side are slipping from the top of the table but they were able to take a 2-1 advantage from Újpest in the Magyar Kupa despite a poorly-played match by both sides on Wednesday. Vasas are a team that looked to have been ‘solved’ by teams in the NB1 recently and Oenning and his staff are going to need to shake things up.
Debrecen continue to be led by Portuguese manager Leonel Pontes despite the rumors that had him sacked after their defeat against Paks before the international break. There is talent in his squad that need to find their scoring boots again such as Dávid Holman and János Ferenczi who have scored just one goal between them in Loki’s last 7 matches. Frank Feltscher is another transfer window addition that should be able to add some firepower up front.

Prediction: Vasas 2-0 Debrecen
Despite their recent struggles, Vasas have only lost twice at home all season. They’ve also scored at a generous clip at home and I think they’ll have a bit of a boost from their midweek win over Újpest in the cup. Loki are still under massive pressure to get a win and this is a huge ask for them at Szusza Ferenc Stadion.

Key facts:
– Vasas have won just twice in their last ten
– Debrecen have one victory in their last nine league matches
– Vasas are scoring an average of 2 goals per game at home in the league this season

Budapest Honvéd (2nd) vs Ferencváros (4th)

at Bozsik József Stadion

Marco Rossi’s side have lost two on trot away from home and they’ll welcome a return to Bozsik Stadion, However, Kispest suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Fradi in their last meeting six weeks ago in the cup. This should be another entertaining match as champions Ferencváros are slowly climbing back up into contention for the title. The return of Endre Botka to Bozsik Stadion may become a non-story as the right back looks set to sit this one out as well. In fact, Ferencváros manager Thomas Doll has gone public in his criticism of Hungarian national team manager Bernd Storck who apparently had injured players Botka and László Kleinheisler train with the team despite not being able to play for their national side. Kleinheisler featured in their midweek cup first leg win over DVTK in the quarterfinals, however.

Prediction: Honvéd 0-1 Ferencváros
Fradi are humming right along despite all of Thomas Doll’s ranting and raving. After a slow start they seem to be peaking at the right time with a lot of talent in reserve. Rossi was unable to outsmart Doll in their last match and Honvéd need to be in form to get anything out of this. I don’t think it will happen for them. Ferencváros have scored a paltry 10 goals in 11 league away games this season, but they’ve also limited damage in conceding just 11 in their travels.

Key facts:
– Honvéd have won their last 5 home matches
– Ferencváros have defeated Honvéd in their last 5 meetings home or away
– Honvéd have conceded just 7 goals in nine league home matches this season.


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.