Hungary still has two representatives in the Europa League after the first qualifying round reached its conclusion, Ferencváros and Videoton progressing this week but Vasas falling to defeat against Beitar Jerusalem, mlsz.hu said.
The first chance of an open start to Vasas’ second-leg fixture against their Israeli opponents – held at Újpest due to the complete rebuild of their traditional home at Fáy utca – came as early as the third minute when Vasas captain Mohamed Remili hit the near left post with a 20m curling free-kick with his right foot.
Just five minutes later the game exploded into life when Antoine Conte’s long-distance shot was beaten out by Vasas goalkeeper Gergely Nagy, only for Szilveszter Hangya to dive in on Idan Vered and concede a penalty.
That wasn’t the end to that moment of drama though as Nagy plunged to his left to turn the spotkick around the post for a corner, but while a jubilant Vasas were still celebrating their escape, Eley Shechter had controlled a short corner and cut into the penalty area from where he rifled the ball low inside Nagy’s near left post to give his side a 1-0 lead on the night.
Neither defence had been impressive so far and so it continued as Vered sneaked in behind the home defence down the right channel and crossed for Shechter, but Nagy came out quickly to smother the striker’s low shot on the turn. Nagy again kept his team in the tie when he superbly turn away Shechter’s effort after he’d been found all alone ten metres from goal by Conte on the right wing.
Vasas did occasionally threaten too though, for example, when youngster Márk Kleisz tried his luck from 25 metres out midway through the first half, only to see his low drive deflected centimetres wide of the left post.
Vered and Kulcsár both had early sights of goal in the second half but sent their shots over and wide respectively. As the game headed towards the hour mark it was becoming increasingly urgent for Vasas to score one of the two goals they currently needed to qualify on away goals, but instead Beitar increased their lead, Hen Ezra cutting in from the left side of the penalty area after good work from Vered and sliding his right-footed cross into the far-right corner of Nagy’s net.
In response, Tamás Kulcsár finally saw a chance come his way but his header from a left-wing Remili cross lacked enough power to beat Beitar keeper Boris Kleyman. Back came the Israelis, Conte’s right-footed drive forcing the sprawling Nagy into another good save to his left. Claudemir’s low free-kick from the right was hammered just wide by Din Mori as the visitors threatened to inflict a heavy defeat on the hosts in the final stages of the match.
Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Yossi Benayoun came on for Beitar as they sought to slow down the play and manage the game to its conclusion. This they achieved with little fuss, Tamás Vaskó coming closest to scoring for Vasas but seeing his header from a corner sail back across goal and wide of the far left post.
Indeed, there was still an opportunity in added time for Beitar to extend their lead once more, a chance they took when Benayoun set up fellow substitute Gaetan Verenne for a simple finish into an empty net a matter of metres from the goal to secure a 7-3 aggregate victory.
In the other two Europa League ties involving Hungarian clubs this week, Ferencváros ensured last week’s 2-0 first-leg win over FK Jelgava was capitalised upon away in Latvia as Tamás Priskin’s first-half goal handed Thomas Doll’s side a single-goal victory and a 3-0 win on aggregate.
Similarly, Videoton progress with a minimum of fuss, their 2-0 first-leg advantage standing them in good stead during an entertaining second match away against Maltese club Balzan which was eventually drawn 3-3. The home side had taken a third-minute league but the Hungarian league runners-up hit back with goals from Géresi and Scepovic to lead 2-1 at half-time and although the Maltese team equalised, Roland Juhász’s 81st-minute goal looked to have won it for Videoton, only for another equaliser to at least give Balzan a draw, even if the final outcome was still Videoton’s progression by a score of 5-3 on aggregate.
Source: mlsz.hu – press release