Hungarian NB1 Roundup – Week 29

Hungarian NB1
Image by beefy_n1 via Flickr

One of the big talking points going into the weekend was of course Videoton’s first ever league title after their victory over Kaposvár last Wednesday which took them to an unassailable lead at the top of the table. But as the race for the championship was over, all eyes turned to the bottom where MTK had to beat Pápa away from home and hope Siofok didn’t beat KTE in Kecskeméti to maintain a chance of staying in Nb1.

Going into the penultimate game of the season, the Champions of 2008 trailed Siofok by 4 points, and they knew that if they didn’t beat Papa, they would almost certainly be playing Nb2 football next year. Things didn’t start well for Hungary’s 2nd most successive side as new filtered through that Siofok had taken an early lead in Kecskeméti, and if they held on to that lead, MTK would be down whatever the result in Pápa. But just 7 minutes later KTE were level through Gabor Bori and over in Pápa, MTK started the better of the two teams taking the lead after half an hour through 19 year old Patrik Tischler.  A third of the way through – MTK were just 2 points behind Siofok with one game (and 2 thirds) remaining. Again though, disaster struck for MTK as Kazuo Homma netted his 2nd goal for Siofok and they lead 2-1 up to half-time.

With KTE having the Magyar Kupa final on Tuesday, players were rested at half-time as top goalscorer Atilla Tokoli was replaced, spelling more bad news for MTK. But that didn’t stop KTE netting an equaliser through Lajos Bertus. The race for survival was still on, and the few MTK fans that made the trip west to Pápa were starting to believe. But there was to be another twist, the boy from Tokyo had once again netted in Kecskeméti, to secure his hat-trick and to make it 3-2 to Siofok. The dream seemed to be over for MTK, and that’s the way it stayed right up to the final whistle. MTK did get another goal to make it 2-0, but it wasn’t to be enough and MTK were relegated for the first time in 17 years. Many of the fans will be blaming Gabor Varszegi who sold MTK’s biggest assets to rival clubs, and abroad (most notably Krisztian Nemeth and Andras Simon to Liverpool and I will blog about Mr. Varszegi and the plight of MTK in the next couple of days.

In contrast, Friday saw joyous scenes in Paks as they secured their highest ever finish in Hungary’s top flight, finishing 2nd behind runaway leaders Videoton. It was a remarkable achievement for Paks, who were predicted again to struggle in Nb1 and whose side is only filled with Hungarian players. They beat Hungary’s 2nd best team of 2011 – Vasas 3-0 with all 3 goals coming from Daniel Bode.

Meanwhile the race for the final Europa League spot has gone to the last day with all four teams fighting for 3rd place, failing to win.  Kaposvár can no longer achieve 3rd place after a terrible defeat at home to already relegated Szolnok. Cameroonian Herve Tchami getting the only goal mid way through the second half.

Meanwhile ZTE and Debrecen fought out a 1-1 draw in Zalaegerszeg after Luis Ramos’ inadvertently nodded into his own net to equalise for ZTE with just 18 minutes to go. ZTE stay in 5th, 1 point behind Debrecen in 4th.

And the team that currently occupy the final Europa spot is Ferencváros, who got a 1-1 draw with Haladás. Fradi were lucky to leave the game with a point after Hali missed a penalty in the first half – Peter Toth trying to be cheeky and chipping the pen over the bar. Hali did however take the lead from the spot after 50 minutes when Halmosi was fouled stupidly by Zoltan Balog. This time Bence Iszlai took the spotkick and converted it emphatically. Denes Rosa equalised 10 minutes later for Fradi, before there was a sending off for either side later on in the game. Ferencváros now sit just one point ahead of Debrecen, and two points ahead of ZTE going into next week’s final round of games.

Finally in the only unimportant game of the weekend, Honvéd lost 4-1 at home to Újpest, who now move up to 7th place. A great achievement considering how bad a season it has been for them considering the squad they have.

Results: Paks 3-0 Vasas, ZTE 1-1 Debrecen, Honved 1-4 Ujpest, Videoton 2-1 Gyor, Papa 0-2 MTK, KTE 2-3 Siofok, Kaposvar 0-1 Szolnok and Haladas 1-1 Ferencvaros

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