It took me five blog posts to resort to titling a blog entry after an Australian teatime series. I have sunk to a low from which I am unlikely to recover. I am saving Neighbours for the first derby of the season.
So MTK’s first home game of the season actually takes place at the Bozsik Jozsef Stadion, home of Kispest Honved or the team that Puskas played for. The decision to play MTK’s home games in the depths of the 28th District of Budapest (I think there are only 28 Districts in total) was a shining example of Hungarian democracy at work.
At the penultimate home game of the previous season and for a bout ten days via the club’s Facebook page, everyone was given the opportunity to vote for which stadium they would like MTK to play their home games for the forthcoming two seasons. The choices being:
· Groupama Arena (new home of Ferencvaros);
· Illovszky Rudolf Stadion (second division Vásas);
· Szusza Ferenc Stadion (Ujpest); and
· Bozsik Jozsef Stadion (Honved).
Anecdotally, there was a clear preference for either of the first two primarily (I guess) that both stadiums are pretty central. Ignoring the ability to vote numerous times (aka the Soviet ballot stuff) and the transparency of the Facebook vote, it was announced that the Honved stadium was the clear winner. Results were never published, but I can only assume that they matched the support for Mr Putin in Grozny.
It was on the back of this news that I found myself dragging myself out to Kispest on a classic tram from the future from the past. I saw Tibor on the tram as well. We gave each other a knowing nod…
Seems to have been built in the middle of an iron forgery. I would suggest this is a good thing. Typical Soviet concrete bowl (small) stadium along the lines of MTK’s old home on Hungaria korut. (Please compare with Soviet concrete bowl (medium) – Petrovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg and Dinamo Stadium in the name of Valerii Lobanovskii in Kiev – and Soviet concrete bowl (large) – Luzhniki in Moscow and Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi).
Beer is HUF 100 more expensive than it used to be, but this is partially compensated by the privet hedge in front of the home stand.
More photos to follow when I remember to take my camera to a home game.
Debrecen won the league last year although staggered across the line like a Donbass miner whose route home is blocked by a pesky camera crew (tenuous link).
Part of this drunken stagger (possibly the bit where the miner starts being dragged out of shot) was a 5-2 defeat at a ‘rampant’ MTK.
This latest game was sandwiched between two Champions League games against BATE Borisov and had been moved to late on a Friday night to help recovery time/improve my drinking time. The general impression was that Debrecen would take a draw (especially given the rested players) and that MTK would have been fairly happy with one too.
MTK looked good. This may have been partially due to Debrecen’s willingness to sit back and let MTK have the ball. It was certainly an improvement performance wise on the previous week. That said MTK did lack teeth. Star striker Torghelle Sandor was still injured and MTK had been forced to new singing Hrepka Adam at front on his own.
Both teams were happily playing out the nil-nil as the clock ticked around to 90 minutes when Kanta Jozsef sets Nagy Tibor free on the right to calmly cross to an unmarked Dr(!) Horvath Zsolt to finish. Hurrah!! One-nil. Against the champions. That means we are effectively champions, doesn’t it? This could have been the effect of a late Friday night kick-off talking.
Attendance 737. Seems like the move to Kispest has not been universally popular.
Lessons not learnt….
Debrecen went on to concede late, late goals in each of their next three away games (BATE, Ujpest and Diosgyor). The goal against BATE cost them progression into the final Champions League qualifying round where they would have faced a relatively easy match-up with Slovan Bratislava. Shame.