NBII Finale: All To Play for in the Fight Against the Drop
It’s with a heavy heart that we begin today’s matchday preview with the knowledge that today will be the last time we see 5 of our great warriors on the fields of NBII battle. We already know that Vasas and Kecskemet are levelling up to NBI next season (apparently some people think NBI is bigger than NBII) however, the identity of the three sides to fall into the abyss of NBIII is yet to be decided.
Going into the final round of matches there is still 7 sides whose futures remain uncertain; from Tiszakecske in 14th position down to Budaors in 20th place, there will be bums squeaking and stomachs turning all the way through to the final blast of a whistle on this glorious Szuper Sunday Relegation Decider.
The action kicks off at 3.30pm when League winners Vasas host Soroksar in the early kick-off. Champions Vasas will look to round the season off on a high with a home win, while Soroksar, who has been one of the most entertaining sides to watch this season, will know that a surprise win would seal at least an 8th place finish.
But the real meaty action of Matchday 38 takes place around the country from 6pm when the remaining matches kick off; 6 of the 9 6pm games involve a side in the relegation dogfight.
The Relegation Games
Bekescsaba v III. Kerulet
The only game to involve two sides in the relegation fight. Bekescsaba sits 17th, one point above the drop zone while III. Kerulet is 19th, 2 points behind Bekescsaba.
Victory for Bekescsaba guarantee’s their survival while a draw would be enough so long as Szolnok don’t beat Haladas.
III Kerulet must win. It’s as simple as that. A draw potentially lifts from 19th to 18th, therefore they need to go after the 3 points that would see them finish 1 ahead of Bekescsaba and hope Haladas get a result at Szolnok.
Csakvar v Ajka
Csakvar is relatively safe going into the final game, 2 points above the drop. Victory against Ajka makes safety absolutely certain, a draw will likely suffice, but defeat today coupled with victories for Bekescsaba and Szolnok would spell disaster.
Ajka is unbeaten in 5 – 4 wins, 1 draw – meaning that Csakvar will need to put on a performance if they are to guarantee their place in NBII next season.
Gyor v Dorog
Gyor’s excellent form of late – 4 wins on the spin – has lifted them up to 7th place with the chance to claim 6th spot should results go their way today. An impressive end to the season has given them hope that perhaps, just perhaps, next season could be the one for them to make a sustained push for promotion.
Dorog, on the other hand, has endured a torrid 2022. However, 5 points from their last 5 games has left them needing just a point from their final game to maintain their NBII status. Defeat and they need Csakvar, Bekescsaba, and Szolnok all to win to put Dorog down.
Pecs v Tiszakecske
Similar to the Gyor match, home side Pecs has little to play for with 11th place already secured.
Tiszakecske sits 14th on 41 points knowing that a draw officially keeps them up. For Tiszakecsk to be relegated at the end of the day, Csakvar, Bekescsaba, and Szolnok all need to win and Dorog must pick up at least a point at Gyor.
Tiszakeckse has one foot in NBII for next season, but they are not over the line just yet.
Siofok v Budaors
Siofok head into this one with 5th place wrapped up and few would have many complaints if their players had one eye on sunning themselves down at Lake Balaton already given the effort they have put into the season.
Visitors Budaors will certainly be hoping that’s the case as, by virtue of propping up the table, this is a must-win IF they are to have any hope of avoiding the drop.
With just the one win in 5 and needing results in 3 other games to go their way, this would go down as one of the Great Escapes if Budaors can pull it off.
Szolnok v Haladas
Szolnok looked dead and buried at the turn of the year, yet go into the final match of the season still clinging to life in NBII.
Victory against defensive meanies Haladas, coupled with Bekescsaba failing to beat III. Kerulet or Csakvar losing to Ajka would see Szolnok live to fight another day.
The home side approach this game with optimism having won 10 points from their last 5 games and maybe, just maybe, they have enough in the tank to see their revival through.
The Dead Rubbers
DVTK v Budafok
Last season’s relegated sides from NBI face-off in what should have been a promotion decider. Instead, DVTK’s late-season collapse has seen them fall out of the promotion picture and Budafok’s dismal season meant they were constantly fighting at the wrong end of the table.
DVTK will want to end the season with a morale-boosting win in front of their beleaguered home support, while Budafok who finally secured their place in NBII for next season will likely just be happy to hear the final whistle blow on a long hard season.
Kecskemet v Szentlorinc
To paraphrase the great Sir Alex Ferguson, “Kecskemet. Bloody Hell.”
From finishing second in NBIII last season and gaining promotion by default, to be pre-season whipping boys, to ultimately proving everyone wrong and securing a second successive promotion with a game to spare, Kecskemet is arguably the team of the season.
Fittingly, their final game is at home allowing the team and fans to celebrate this monumental season in a carnival atmosphere.
Szentlorinc, who have achieved their goal of survival are basically just here to make up the numbers.
This is Kecskemet’s day in the sun.
Nyiregyhaza v Szeged
A season that promised so much for both sides but ultimately failed to deliver will come to an end at around 7.45pm this evening; both sides will shake hands with the 21/22 campaign and part ways like a mutual separation. They’ll promise to stay friends with this season, but we all know that deep down they’ll never speak again.
It’s a shame really because both Nyiregyhaza and Szeged started the season so brightly only for it to fall apart around November in Nyiregyhaza’s case and March for Szeged.
We, at NBII Hungary, will be forever grateful to Szeged for gifting us Kristofer Horvath this season and look forward to one last hurrah from the ridiculously talented forward today.