Mezőkövesd have surpassed their 2017 feat of reaching the semi-final stage of the Hungarian Cup by knocking out title-holders MOL Fehérvár on away goals after a 2-2 draw in Székesfehérvár last night, 4 days after drawing 1-1 back home in Eastern Hungary. They will play Budapest Honvéd in the final in the Puskás Aréna on 3rd June after Kispest drew both legs with MTK Budapest 0-0, then knocked out their city rivals 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
Hungarian Cup semi-final, 2nd leg:
Budapest Honvéd–MTK Budapest (NB II) 0–0 – penalties: 5–4
Puskás Aréna, behind closed doors, ref.: Solymosi
Budapest Honvéd progress to the final by penalties.
Yellow cards: George (9.), Mezgrani (43.), Szendrei (103.), Moutari (118.)
Budapest Honvéd: Tujvel – Mezgrani, Lovric, Batik, Uzoma – Nagy G. (Szendrei, a szünetben), Hidi – Gazdag (Ikenne-King, 108.), Lanzafame (Kamber, 80.), Kesztyűs (Kukoc, 90+2.) – George (László D., 55.; Moutari, 90+2.)
MTK Budapest: Varga B. – Fülöp N. (Baki, 95.), Katona M. (Kanta, 115.), Varju, Pintér Á. – Mezei (Nagy Zs., 95.), Palincsár (Bognár I., 54.), Cseke -–Lencse (Bíró, 72.), Schön (Gera, 72.), Prosser
MOL Fehérvár FC 2–2 Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC (HT: 0–1)
MOL Aréna Sóstó, behind closed doors, ref.: Vad II.
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC progress to the final by virtue of away goals after a 3-3 aggregate result. The first leg was drawn 1-1 in Mezőkövesd.
Goalscorers: FEH: Hodzic (63.), Stopira (86.), MEZ: Zivzivadze (8.), Pekár (54.)
Yellow cards: FEH: Musliu (56.), Nego (59.), Stopira (79.), MEZ: Besirovic (40.), Karnyickij (44.), Nagy D. (80.)
MOL Fehérvár FC: Kovácsik – Fiola (Hodzic, 46.), Musliu, Vinícius (Juhász R., 89.), Stopira – Elek (Futács, 77.), Houri – Nego (Bamgboye, 65.), Kovács I., Petrjak (Milanov, 65.) – Nikolic
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FC: Szappanos – Eperjesi, Neszterov, Pillár, Silye – Karnyickij (Nagy D., 72.), Meskhi – Pekár (Farkas D., 75.), Cseri (Vajda S., 65.), Besirovic – Zivzivadze (Jurina, 72.)
A 1-1 first-leg draw in Eastern Hungary meant Fehérvár held the upper hand going into the second leg, but that didn’t last long, Budu Zivzivadsze giving Mezőkövesd an eighth-minute lead when he chested in a rebound after home defender Visar Musliu had diverted the ball onto his own crosssbar. Musliu was then denied a chance of a swift equaliser by some last-ditch defending, following which the game’s pattern was set; Mezőkövesd defending deeply and counter-attacking when possible, while Fehérvár dominated possession but barely creating any chances to score before half-time.
The hosts started the second half with a quicker tempo, Loic Nego soon forcing a good save from Péter Szappanos but they were caught on the counter when László Pekár finished off a lightning attack to double the visitors’ lead.
Fehérvár striker Armin Hodzic missed a great chance to score soon after but he made amends with a sweet strike in the 63rd minute to halve the deficit. His team poured forward thereafter but they were nearly undone by Mykhaylo Meskhi’s shot which home-team goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik just managed to tip onto the crossbar.
Neverthless, Fehérvár remained in the game and equalised with four minutes to go through Stopira’s header. With away goals now against them, Joan Carilo’s team still needed to score one more but despite veteran central defender Roland Juhász moving upfront, it was beyond them, Mezőkövesd instead claiming a place in their first ever Hungarian Cup final.
Tamás Cseri, Mezőkövesd player:
“We prepared with the mindset that we wanted to win the second leg by whatever scoreline, but this 2-2 draw was also welcome. If we’d concentrated more, we wouldn’t have needed to be nervous at the end, but in both matches we’ve played well and we’ve shown the strength of our team by scoring twice away against Fehérvár. I see the club is continuously developing and for me, this cup run is a historic success. They were really cheering for us back in Mezőkövesd; they have been stopping me in the street and assuring me we’d get through”.
Hungarian football’s showpiece event returns to the national stadium after six years, the enforced tightness of the amended football schedule meaning it will now be broadcast live on M4 Sport TV at 20:00 on 3rd June.