Hungarian NB1 Roundup – Week 23

Results: Szolnoki 1-0 Újpest, Ferencváros 0-1 Vasas, Debrecen 2-3 Siofok, Zalaegerszeg 1-1 Győr, Paks 2-0 Kecskeméti, Pápa 0-1 Honvéd, Kaposvár 2-1 MTK and Haladás 2-0Hungarian NB1 recap Videoton

The weekend kicked off with yet another win for bottom side Szolnoki over the struggling Ujpest. Before the turn of the year Szolnoki had just 8 points from 16 games, and were certainties to go down. But after 7 tricky games they’ve picked up 9 more points, and sit only 9 points from safety. It’s still very unlikely they’ll stay up, but since the Hungarian Under 21 international Peter Mate has joined the club, they look unbeatable at the back, and that’s the way it was on Friday. Ujpest didn’t create many chances at all due to the lack of creativity they have, and partially because Mate and co performed admirably at the back. Laszlo Fitos put MAV ahead, and they never looked back from there. With a recent draw to runaway leaders Videoton and victory over KTE, Szolnoki are definitely gathering a bit of momentum, but their recent good form may have come a little too late.

Friday’s other game, was the Budapest Derby between Ferencvaros and Vasas with Fradi needing to win to consolidate 2nd place and keep up their slim chance of winning the league. However, Fradi didn’t perform and Hungary’s form team won their 4th game in 6 to move up to 8th. Vasas are another team who have had an incredible start to the year. They sat just one point clear of the relegation zone, in 13th position but their recent resurgence has seen them move 8 points clear with the Europa League spots in their sights. Ferencvaros on the other hand moved down to 4th place with their loss.

Saturday saw a few shock results. Champions Debrecen lost yet again, to relegation threatened Siofok. As a result Zdeněk Ščasný resigned after just 4 months in charge. Under his tenure Loki only managed to win 1 game in 7 and their slim chances of retaining the league title became non-existent. In the weekend’s game, Debrecen were 3-0 down after 50 minutes, and but for a late rally with goals coming from Bodi and Coulibaly, Loki would have been truly embarrassed by the newly promoted Siofok. With this win for Siofok, they move out of the relegation zone up to 13th 2 points from safety.

ZTE slipped down to 5th following their 1-1 draw with 7th placed Győr. The game was quite eventful, and saw ZTE take the lead early in the first half thanks to an own goal from the unfortunate
Ganugrava. Then things got worse for Győr when Fomumbod was sent off for a second yellow, but a late goal from Volgyi continued Győr’s good start to the year.

Paks recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over KTE to move up to 2nd. Paks really have had an incredible season, which no-one has predicted after their 14th place finish last year. Their team also consists of only Hungarian players, and now only sit 10 points behind Videoton at the top of the table.

Another shock on Saturday saw Papa lose at home to Honvéd. Before this game Honved had won just one game in 11 in the league, and sat precariously close to the relegation zone. But a first half goal from New Zealand international, Kris Bright saw the Army move up to 10th place, one position below Papa.

Kaposvár kept up their good form to move up to third thanks to a 2-1 win over MTK. Kaposvár are another team who have surprised many after their superb season, and Europa League qualification for them is now a very real possibility. MTK on the other hand have surprised everyone with their incredibly poor season. They now sit in the relegation zone, 2 points behind Siofok, haven’t won  a game since February, and have just 2 wins in 16 games in the league. An insane record for a team who won the title back in 2008, and have arguably the best youth system in the league.

The last shock of the weekend came on Sunday with runaway leaders Videoton losing in Szombathely to on form Haladás who recorded their 8th home win in a row. Goals from Hungarian internationals Peter Halmosi and Krisztián Kenesei saw Haladás move up to 11th.

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