Ferencváros dispatched ten-man Debrecen and Újpest beat Békéscsaba to ensure that Hungary’s two most successful clubs will meet again this season in the country’s domestic cup final on Saturday 7th May.
In this week’s semi-final second legs, Fradi dominated their home match against their opponents from Eastern Hungary after the first leg had finished goalless. Veteran midfielder Zoltán Gera rolled back the years to score a goal in each half, the first coming from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after Loki goalkeeper István Verpecz had been shown a straight red card for bringing down Dániel Böde in the penalty area and his second arriving in the 79th minute from a perfectly-placed 22-metre free-kick. The former West Bromwich Albion and Fulham man then capped a fine display by supplying a fine pass to Dominik Nagy who finished off the late counter attack by firing the ball into the right side of the goal from the edge of the penalty area.
Meanwhile Újpest had an altogether more difficult path to victory in their last-four tie against NBI strugglers Békéscsaba. Leading 2-0 on aggregate from the first leg, Újpest found themselves 1-0 down away from home in the second match, Botond Birtalan dispatching a left-footed shot first-time into the bottom-left corner of the goal from ten metres after receiving a long pass forward. The next goal was crucial but instead of Zoran Spisljak’s team levelling the tie at 2-2, it was the Lilac and Whites who put the outcome beyond doubt with an equaliser on the night, Andrics converting a chance from 11 metres to make it 3-1 on aggregate and deal a fatal blow to their opponents’ hopes of silverware this season. There was no further addition to the score so it is Újpest who will try to prevent NBI league champions Ferencváros from completing a domestic league and cup double.
The final will take place at the officially-neutral venue of the Groupama Aréna, which is of course otherwise the home of Ferencváros, the draw meaning Újpest, as the winner of the first semi-final, will be classed as the home team for this fixture. Although the two clubs have a rich history of playing each other, having met 220 times in Hungarian football, their last encounter in the Hungarian Cup final came way back in 1933 when Fradi inflicted the biggest-ever final defeat on their rivals by winning 11-1 (curiously, three days after that final Újpest secured that year’s league championship). The two also met in the group stages of the 1977 edition with the tournament enjoying a different format but Ferencváros won that contest too, although that year the cup was won by Diosgyőr.
The last Magyar kupa rendéz-vous between the two clubs came in December 2013 in the round of 16, Ujpest winning 1-0 on aggregate on their way to lifting the trophy, a result which was replicated in the last league meeting between the clubs in December 2015 at the Groupama Aréna.
Source: Press release