Another week, another MTK match. In fact, it is the last before a two week break. Hungary decided that one week of preparation was not enough so knock out a full two rounds of domestic games. This is terrible for those of us who find international football increasingly tiresome and irrelevant. I am just getting old and grumpy.
Love a tram. This one goes to UNHS and on to the Brewery. What a tram!!
The visitors to UHNS this week are this season’s surprise package, Vasas. Hailing from the distinctly gritty, Angyalfold a couple of kilometres north of the city centre, it is reasonably fair to call Vasas, Budapest’s fifth team. Six league titles is no mean feat as well as a couple of deep forays into European competition back in the good old 60s. But success has been harder to come by in recent times with nothing from the trophy top table for over 30 years when Communist Party leader, Jani Kadar could be seen amongst the crowd at the Illovsky Rudolf Stadium. Kadar has gone the way all of us do – death. And the stadium has gone the way of all Hungarian stadiums – destruction. Death and destruction. Vasas have been flying this season after missing out on relegation on the last game of the last (against MTK) allowing many to lazily label them the Hungarian Leicester. Michael Oenning has done a tremendous job: there is no doubt of this. And he has been able to blood young Hungarians in the form of Szilvi Hangya and Mate Vida (both of whom have won international recognition this year).
Usual shot. Different week
I went to the game thinking that we have little to no chance of picking up anything off our near neighbours from the 13th District. The previous week’s limp display against Paks had indeed taken away much of my stuffing. NB II surely is not that bad? Trips to exotic, far-off Hungarian towns would surely be fun? Wouldn’t it?
The old stadium (the sentimentality of growing maturity) always had a pleasant surprise. The new one does not. The middle urinal frequently stops working but that remains annoying rather than endearing. I wonder how long it takes before one warms to a stadium. I suspect that this one may take an eternity. Vasas brought some noise although a step below Honved and Ujpest and the MTK marketing department actually did a good job getting people in the door. A shade under 3,000 (I hazard a guess) would be the highest home attendance since the last game at the old stadium and the last Orokrangado before that.
Fortunately, these nascent MTK fans saw a solid performance, which saw MTK more or less boss the game. Ramos hit the bar from an early freekick before going second time lucky volleying home a freekick delivered from an identical position. Vass Adam has returned to his preferred DM role with Grgics stepping into the CB vacancy. Both did well and the team looked far more solid because of it. Poor Vogyicska Balint had a shocker. He is still
Ramos’ opener turned out to be the only goal of the game. Vasas pressed, but created little with MTK the more likely to score as the game moved into the dying minutes. Only a heavy touch from (an exhausted) Kolomec when through on goal prevented him from surely doubling his MTK goal tally. 1-0 it ended and MTK moved five points clear of the relegation zone.
I go wild.
Despite the brevity of the above, I actually really enjoyed this game. It seemed to have far more physicality the average Hungarian game. MTK even trying to initiate a coordinated high-press on occasion. It did not work because only Kanta was switched on, but it shows the team and the coaching staff are thinking. This can only be a good thing and hopefully we are seeing the seeds of something new.
Now we have a two week break because the Hungarian FA have put all their eggs in the international basket. Hungary go to Lisbon where defeat will probably spell the end of any qualifying hopes. These two sides last me in the balmy days of last summer where Hungary ping-ponged their way to a 3-3 draw at which point Ronaldo decided to whisper sweet nothings and the game ended as a contest. I don’t see Hungary coming away with anything. World Cup qualification will have to wait until they expand the thing.
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