Budapest has 23 districts. One of these is District III, home to the originally named III Kerület TUE. Kerület for those non-conversant in Magyar means district. The club was founded way back in 1887. I imagine the naming part of the founding meeting was relatively brief.
District III is way north on the Buda side of the city. The bus ride brought back some shuddering nightmares of my days in Russia: row upon row of prefabricated tower blocks. These tower blocks probably help explain why District III (also known as Old Buda) is the second most populous district in Budapest behind those District XI swine down the road in New Buda.
The ground is set amongst a short walk from the end of the bus line and I followed a guy bedecked in blue who led me through a hole in the fence (actually a gate) and onto a grass bank tucked behind one corner. Remnants of a Soviet Concrete Bowl (small) remained although the area has been made relevant to the 21st century. Artificial pitches run along one side and the shell of a new stand rises opposite. The new stand is no doubt part of the great stadium reconstruction being undertaken at the bequest of the current government (some (or almost everybody) would argue at the expense of more deserving causes).
Remnants. It did fill up later.
I snuggled myself onto a natural seat in the grass bank, paid a cursory glance for dreaded wasps (which had caused Mrs Timmy Bacsi such mischief the day before) and enjoyed the pre-match warm-up in the warm rays of an early September evening. Boy, it is good to be back!
Rivals for today’s Nemzeti Bajnoksag III Nyugat Csoport match (aka the third division – Western group) were Diosdi TC from the town of Diosd a short hop away from Budapest proper. A derby. Now, I know I should not rely on Wikipedia for my research beyond the very basics, but sometimes it comes up with some classics: Diosd’s largest employer is a ball-bearing factory.
Pictures say a thousand words? This one says two. Big fence.
After last week’s ‘doomed’ trip to Csepel, I was expecting more of the same in terms of quality (or lack of). I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the slightly lower angle gave me more appreciation of the quality or maybe both these teams are just better. Diosd shot out of the traps with a roar and dominated III for the first 15 minutes or so. However, an innocuous clash in the middle of the field saw Diosd’s number 4 prostrate, the game continued as III attacked and a cross from the right found, an unmarked player (probably where the number 4 should have been) crisply put home a volley. It took Diosd a moment or two to steady themselves, but they came again playing at a very high intensity and offering some pretty good examples of pressing high-up the pitch. Half-time came and the visitors probably could have thought themselves unlucky to be behind. All in all, an excellent half with both teams willing to throw men forward leading to an open and enjoyable game. I felt bad for not buying a ticket now.
After the break, it was more of the same with Diosd continuing to chase the game. They almost grabbed an equalise but a golden opportunity was spurned with about an hour gone.
64 minutes saw the arrival of Kaszai Gabor on the left wing as a subsitute and just 4 minutes later, he found himself in acres of space as Diosd opened themselves up to the counter. Charging through the inside left channel, he cooly slotted past the onrushing keeper. Any doubt that the three points were going to District III (boom) were put to bed as the Diosd goalkeeper forgot that he was not a half-decent outfield player, stumbled on the ball to allow, III’s striker to tap into the empty net. Oops. Whether it was tiredness due to the gigh intensity of the first hour or whether the heads just dropped, the final 25 minutes were hugely onesided. Kaszai added his second with a thundering half-volley of some class into the roof of the net before completing his hat trick inside eleven minutes with a curling right foot shot beyond the despairing keeper.
It finished 5-0. I think it was incredibly harsh on Diosd, who were more than a match for the first 60 minutes. They might need to adjust their game plan to account for the fact that these are not super fit professionals and drop back in for ten minutes every now and again.
I reckon Kaszai will start next week.
Too tired to celebrate the fifth.
On my way out of the hole in the fence, a lost looking lady asked me where the main entrance was. “Sorry, I don’t speak Hungarian.” She looked confused. Not as confused as I must have looked at the cries of “Hajra Kerulet” (“Come on District”). They don’t breed creative types up here.
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