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Europa League: Luckless Ferencváros lose at home but Videoton plough on

Europa League: Luckless Ferencváros lose at home but Videoton plough on

Videoton won their Europa League second qualifying round first leg convincingly away in Estonia yesterday but 10-man Ferencváros were hugely unfortunate to lose 4-2 at home against Danish opponent Midtjylland and Honvéd will also need to come from behind if they are to overcome Hapoel Beer Sheba after a 2-1 away loss in their Champions’ League second qualifying round match in Israel on Tuesday.

At the Groupama Aréna in Budapest, Ferencváros started very much on the front foot, Tamás Priskin heading the ball wide when he should have perhaps left Roland Varga’s standing cross for the arriving Rui Pedro and Amadou forcing an early corner after a typically mazy crossfield run, only for nothing to come of it.

Their Danish opponents were not short of attacking intent either though, captain Jakob Poulsen’s corner finding 201cm-tall Paul Onuachu arriving at the near post, but his header was blocked and Fradi escaped. The hosts nearly made their visitors pay soon after too, Leandro releasing Priskin in on goal down the left channel but he took a heavy touch on the way towards goal and in the end was perhaps fortunate to get a corner.

Six corners in the first quarter of an hour – three for each team – illustrated the open nature of the match thus far so it was no surprise that an opening goal was forthcoming. Leandro, Fradi’s naturalised Hungarian defender born in Brazil, had already created one chance for Priskin with a long-range pass when he lofted an angular 40-metre ball to left-back Endre Botka on the left of the penalty area, the recent signing from domestic rivals Budapest Honvéd impressively controlling the ball on his chest, turning inside and striding across the D before dispatching the ball to the right of an unsighted Jesper Hansen in the Midtjylland goal, this in the 23rd minute.

Suddenly Thomas Doll’s team were dominating proceedings, the lively Amadou collecting Varga’s deep cross, cutting back inside from the right side of the penalty area and curling a shot just a metre wide of the far right stanchion. Leandro went close to extending the lead with a blocked shot before Rui Pedro saw his looping back-header tipped over the bar by Hansen and Gera rifled the ball over from the resultant corner.

Such was their hold over the game it was now becoming important that Fradi would gain that second goal while in the ascendancy and it duly came when another new signing Fernando Gorriaran had his legs taken away from him 18 metres from goal and from a central position stroked the ensuing free-kick nonchalantly to Hansen’s left and into the net.

At this stage with 42 minutes on the clock it was hard to imagine a way back for the Danes but suddenly a route opened up for them in dramatic fashion, the Swiss referee deeming central defender Julian Kock’s 46th-minute challenge on Onuachu to be illegal and serving up a double punishment for the reigning Hungarian Cup winners, awarding a penalty which Poulsen converted into the right side of the goal, but not before Kock had been dismissed from the field of play.

Ferencváros’ momentum had been well and truly checked as the half-time whistle was blown, midfielder Rui Pedro sacrificed during the break for central defender Bence Balik but for the first fifteen minutes of the second half it was an even, attritional contest, that is until Gera was adjudged to have brought down Drachmann just after the hour mark and Poulsen stepped up to curl the 22-metre free-kick over the wall and past Dénes Dibusz’s outstretched left hand into the right side of the goal.

The concession of a barely-deserved equaliser was compounded by a rash tackle from Gera on the left side of the penalty area which gave away another penalty, Poulsen completing his hat-trick with another spotkick, again to Dibusz’s left.

Midtjylland’s Rilwan Hassan then fired wastefully over the crossbar as Fradi wilted, but to their credit they stayed in the game and became more adventurous as the damage a home loss would inflict dawned on them. Fernando Garriaran came closest, his shot from the right of the area in the 86th minute hitting the post and rebounding out to Balik, only for his effort towards an empty net to be blocked by a covering defender.

Sadly, there was one more goal left in the game for the away team, Poulsen reaching the right byline and setting up Onuachu for a tap-in as the extra man really began to count. Even then, in added time, Balik saw a header superbly beaten away by Hansen to his left as Doll’s charges refused to give up but it wasn’t to be; somehow Ferencváros contrived to lose 4-2 and will now likely need to win by three clear goals in Denmark next Thursday.

Elsewhere, Budapest Honvéd opened their UEFA Champions’ League campaign with a narrow 2-1 loss away at Hapoel Beer Sheba of Israel. The Hungarian champions fell behind in the first half and conceded a second goal early in the second period but David Lanzafame’s 63rd-minute header halved the deficit to give Erik van der Meer’s team hope ahead ofthe second leg in Budapest next Wednesday.

Also playing in Hungary next week but in much more positive circumstances will be Videoton who secured this week’s only success for Hungarian clubs in European competition, a comprehensive performance away against Estonian club Kalju resulting in a 3-0 win in which Máté Patkai put Vidi ahead before two penalties were rattled in by Marko Šćepović, the second off the underside of the crossbar to ensure likely progression for his team with next Thursday’s second leg at their temporary home of Felcsút still to come.

Source: MLSZ – press release

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