Vasas took another step towards an immediate return to NBII today following their third straight league defeat in a row. The Angyalfold side remain winless in the league in 2023 and are 8 without a win in the competition.
6 points adrift of Honvéd who lost at Fehervar yesterday, Vasas had the opportunity to breathe new life into their fading survival hopes with a victory at home to Paks. A tall order perhaps, but with their NBI survival already hanging in the balance, one that Vasas could not afford to let slip.
A healthy home support filled the Illovszky Rudolf Stadion, more in hope than anticipation of seeing a home win.
After an insipid start from Vasas that lacked passion or fight, the hopes of the home crowd were flattened as Janos Hahn capitalised on some woeful defending to fire Paks in front from close range. The Atomcsapat had barely moved out of second gear yet found themselves in a very comfortable position.
Varga and Hahn were posing problems with their movement and interchanging of passes pulling the Vasas defence all over the place. There was an air of inevitability and resignation amongst the home team and support; an incredibly quiet home support given the importance of the fixture.
On the half hour Vasas sprung into life with first Urblik going close with a header and then Patrik Hidi hitting the post with a thumping effort from around 25 yards out.
In this kind of game, the second goal is often crucial. A Vasas equaliser could provide the spark to spur to them on and possibly rekindle their season. A second for Paks and the game would be as good as over.
So it proved on 54 minutes when Bode powered a header into the top corner. Uram in the Vasas got a hand to the effort but was unable to keep it out.
Two down, deflated, and disinterested, Vasas looked every bit an NBII fish out of water. And things went from to worse when Berecz was easily disposed in midfield leading to a swift attack that ended with Bode sweeping another effort in beyond Uram to make it 3-0 on 73 minutes.
The young keeper was one of the few in a Vasas shirt who could hold his head up at the point having made a couple of decent stops to keep the score down earlier. He was massively let down by those in front of him.
With the game all but over, Paks relaxed a little and Vasas started to create openings. Three times Jozsef Szalai went one-on-one with Gergely Nagy and three times the Vasas striker fired tamely at the Paks keeper.
The home side pulled a goal back with 10 minutes to go as Filip Holender’s deflected effort wrong-footed the keeper and Zsomber Berecz was on hand to finish from close range in the 90th minute to bring an air of respectability to the scoreline, if not the Vasas performance.
The scoreline in the end flattered the home side. They lacked passion and drive throughout, and looked devoid of any sort of motivation to alleviate their current predicament. Berecz late goal does nothing more than paper over the cracks in what a poor individual and team performance.
For Paks, it was a case of job done. The three points sees them move into 4th place as the NBI takes a short international break.
Whether Elemer Kondas’ break will be extended indefinitely beyond the next two weeks remains to be seen.