Ujpest and Puskas Akademia shared 6 goals and 3 red cards between them as they played out an enthralling 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon in the Autumn sun at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion.
The home side went into the game having lost three of their last four league games, and in need of a win to move clear of bottom club Vasas who scored an unlikely victory at Paks on the Saturday. Puskas Akademia, on the other hand, came into the fixture on the back of a defeat to Ferencvaros last weekend that put an end to a three-game winning streak.
It was the visitors who struck first after 11 minutes in what would turn out to be an eventful and topsy-turvy afternoon. Croatian forward Jakov Puljic the grateful back post recipient of Alexandru Baluta’s corner, turning home from close range as the Ujpest defence watched the ball travel across the box without clearance.
Baluta, Puskas Akademia’s Romanian playmaker began to take control of the game, orchestrating play and attempting probing through passes that they Ujpest defence was struggling to deal with.
Just as the game looked to be heading towards a procession for the visitors, and with sections of the home crowd telling manager Milos Kruscic to “go home”, Ujpest level the scores against the run of play.
Reds All Round
Winger Kevin Csoboth intercepted a slack pass out from the back and strode forward into the Puskas penalty, with a clear sight of goal the young forward delayed on pulling the trigger allowing Stronati to lunge out a leg and deflect Csoboth’s shot out for a corner. From the resultant corner, Abdoulaye Diaby rose highest to power home a close-range header.
After coming close to scoring himself, Csoboth’s next major involvement was to receive a second yellow card for diving shortly after the half-hour mark, leaving the host down to ten-men for an hour.
Puskas almost made their man advantage count instantly as Puljic hit the inside of the post with a header before Baluta saw his rebound cleared off the line. However, the sides went into the break level on goals and red cards as Baluta, so prominent in all things good for Puskas, saw red for a high boot into Onovo’s chest when challenging in an aerial dual.
Despite Baluta’s dismissal, Puskas started the second half brightly but fell behind for the first time as Antonov converted from the spot after Pauljevic was felled in the box by Ormonde-Ottewill.
Super Sub Zahedi
With time running out and the hosts finally looking comfortable with their lead, Puskas began to throw caution to the wind introducing Corbu and then Gruber and Zahedi to the fray. The latter two would combine within minutes of their introduction as Zahedi headed Puskas level with 12 minutes remaining.
Four minutes after Zahedi’s equaliser Csaba Spandler made a hash of challenge on Tello and ended up punching the ball to safety as he tumbled to the ground. The result was a second yellow card, and Puskas down to 9 men.
Aron Csongvai, the Ujpest captain, received the freekick a full 35 yards from goal before unleashing an unstoppable effort in the corner of Balazs Toth’s goal for what looked like an incredible winner. The home bench certainly thought so as they charged onto the pitch in celebration.
But Puskas were not done yet. With 3 minutes remaining Iranian forward Zahedi beautifully guided a Mezghrani cross into the far corner of Nikolic’s goal to give the visitors a share of the points.
The result leaves Ujpest second from bottom and one point above Vasas, while Puskas sit fourth, three points adrift of Kecskemet in second place.