We ended up with a rather poor showing of only two matches out of the four originally planned. Puskas Akademia – Ferencvaros was sold out before we could get anywhere near the ticket office to buy our tickets (and the club refused to return emails, tweets or answer phones so there was no way of pre-booking without a fan card). Still two goals from Bode Daniel in four first half minutes meant the game was not one I was overly bothered to miss out on.
Saturday morning saw us miss the Budapest league game. A combination of fiancees who were more excited about touring Budapest and a general lack of lust to make the trek out to the stadium meant that we were quite happy to skulk around town in anticipation of the MTK match. If you didn’t know this, Budapest is a beautiful city and as it shakes off the cold vestiges of winter, I started to have a tinge of regret that I will be leaving in a little less than a month. Suppress those emotions, Tim.
MTK – Papa
One last trip to the industrial wasteland…
To save those hardcore MTK fans the hassle of having to trawl through my irrelevant musings, the MTK game has its own separate post. Read all about it here…https://timmybacsi.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/papa-shango-papa-home-review/
Looks better in the dark.
Ujpest – Videoton
Illness had struck down Martin leaving just Colin and I to brave the journey North to catch the last game of the 22nd Round of the 2014/2105 Nemzeti Bajnoksag I. Following my own insturctions that I had written (but not checked) for another English language Hungarian football blog, http://www.magyarfutball.hu/en/blog/kategoriak/english (the article is not published at time of writing this), we successfully found our way to the Szusza Ferenc Stadium following the amassed hoards of lilac warriors. Visiting games with a crowd in Hungary is a fairly unusual concept for me. Even though the crowd was recorded at a little under 1,300, it still felt like I was on my way to something much bigger (watching MTK games with 400 people probably does that to you).
Ticket buying was a breeze even with my pidgin Hungarian and we were even greeted by a comprehensive merch (I hate this word, but will use to prove that I am relevant) stall. I, of course, was not going to forsake my first (ignoring all my other loves) love, but Colin wept at the opportunity to buy a half and half Ujpest-Newcastle upton (sic) Tyne scarf commemorating the 1969 Inter-City Fairs Cup Final. Ujpest lost; Colin lust.
The stadium has a worn-in new stadium feel. New in the sense that it is not a Soviet concrete bowl type stadium like many of those in the rest of Hungary. Old in the sense that many seats are missing and it does look worn/rusty around the edges. I actually quite like it. I imagine a full house would create quite a racket. It was far from a full crowd for this game against Champions elect Videoton.
We took our place at an appropriate distance from the half dozen or so rowdos including one drunk vagabond who seemed to be in a constant game of cat and mouse with stewards over his fence climbing antics. All seemed fairly harmless.
On the pitch (following the sad strains of the Hungarian national anthem), Ujpest started brightly. Very brightly. Suljic, Sztaniszavljev (I did not spell that correctly first time) and Balogh looked spritely, but the perennial failure of Ujpest in recent teams of finding a striker to put an end to the promising moves continued. Perovics was fairly anonymous as a finishing threat. That said Vidi’s goalkeeper was forced into a couple of good saves as he was called upon to shovel the ball to safety more than once. Vidi being Vidi, they soaked up the pressure before a cutting ball found Oliveira (ex-Chelsea) who rode a couple of fairly soft tackles before drilling the ball expertly into the bottom corner. 0-1. Very much against the run of play.
The second half started with Ujpest on top, seemingly with an unstoppable momentum about their play. Vidi soaked up the pressure and used every opportunity to take time off the clock. The referee seemed to give every decision their way (although the three offside decisions that looked tight were all correctly given) prompting cries of “Orban csapata” (Orban’s team). The game swung into a period of nothingness before Ujpest came again with twenty or so minutes to go throwing caution to the cold, biting wind blowing through the ground. However, despite all their possession it was Vidi who looked more likely to pinch one on the counter. I struggle to recall Calatayud in Vidi’s goal being forced to make anything beyond routine saves in the second period.
The late appearance of Kim ‘rubbish Shola Ameobi’ Ojo upfront did little to left the hopes of Ujpest’s fans, who went home ruing what could/should have been. The Vidi machine rolls on and with a ten point gap and eight games to go, four more wins will probably be enough to see them across the line with room to spare. The MTK dream is dead.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. A slightly more vibrant atmosphere than the pleasantly sedate one at MTK without any overtones of intimidation. Stadium accessibility was reasonable actually (despite the trek out of the centre) and there was free flowing beer and sweet tasting pretzels. I think I would make the trip again (although this is purely hypothetical) even if the purple colouring is a little fanciful. Only downside was the somewhat bizarre policing at the end of the game, which entailed our bus being subject to police escort, surrounded at the metro station before a few fans who had been making a moderate amount of noise, being plucked from the bus by riot police for identification. Totally unnecessary policing in a country where the police are generally pretty good (versus the in-house stadium security).