Desperate times call for desperate measures – (Vasas – Sopron)

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So after the excitement of Friday night’s glorious defeat of Finland, the gasping whole of a weekend without domestic football revealed itself to me.  Fortunately, this is where lower league football comes into all of its glory and a full round of fixtures where scheduled for Nemzeti Bajnoksag II including a home game at Budapest’s fifth team, Vasas.

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I must confess that Vasas was actually the first place I watched Hungarian football in my hunt for a suitable Budapest team to follow.  All I recall from that day was a sickening head injury, an indoor bar, the best ticket office and a humbling 2-1 defeat for the home team against Pecs.  The ticket office still survived (although its functions had been rudely transferred to a next door metal cabin)…

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As did the bar, which provided a welcome warmth at half-time

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The stadium itself is a standard issue Soviet concrete bowl (small) and has definitely seen better years and unsurprisingly is named after former player Illovszky Rudolf (who played 270 games and won 4 titles as ap layer before managing them for approximately 15 years) Situated in the heart of the working-class district of Angyalfold (Angel’s Earth (ironic I assume)), the stadium is part of the larger Vasas sport complex featuring various venues for various sports.  Recent additions include a large, modern looking handball arena.  The sports club seemingly plays an important role in this relatively impoverished community.  In turn, the community turns out in relatively large numbers to support the football team, who have been languishing in the second tier since their relegation some three years ago.

Vasas went into this game against (used to be Austrians) Sopron sitting pretty in second in the table with top and third facing each other, victory here could give Vasas some space at the top.

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The game was not of the highest quality.  No doubt that the commitment was present, but there was certainly a level of technique missing.  Half time came before anyone had bothered to trouble the goalkeepers let alone the net behind them.  This changed immediately after with Sopron opening the scoring and then doubling their lead 20 minutes later.  Vasas sprung into life backed by their vociferous (and foul mouthed) local support.  One Vasas coach and one Sopron coach were sent to the stand in increasingly heated closing exchanges.  The Sopron coach took the unwise step of applauding the home stand who took exception and demonstrated this through the medium of lighter throwing.  A little unseemly.

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Vasas managed to bundle home a consolation with ten minutes to go, but a consolation was all it proved to be.  A couple of optimistic penalty shouts were as close as Vasas came.  Vasas dropped from second spot to third after this game and the promotion race is tightening up with five teams within two points of each other (top two are promoted).   I would love a trip to Szeged (something of a home town for me here in Hungary).

MERKANTIL BANK NB II

Hely Csapatok M Gy D V Gólok GK Pont
1 Mezőkövesd-Zsóry FC 14 8 5 1 28 : 13 15 29
2 Gyirmót FC Győr 14 8 4 2 24 : 12 12 28
3 Vasas FC 14 9 0 5 32 : 18 14 27
4 Békéscsaba 1912 Előre 14 9 0 5 19 : 17 2 27
5 Szolnoki MÁV FC 14 8 3 3 26 : 20 6 27
6 Szeged 2011 Grosics Akadémia 14 7 2 5 18 : 16 2 23

2014-11-15 16.02.44A quick warm down in the bar  as thoughts turn to the Monday night game when Hungary play Russia  and how to source a Ukrainian flag…

Apologies for the photo quality as I forgot to put the SD card back in my camera so was reliant on my phone. 

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