According to MLSZ, Újpest turned on the style at Megyeri út last night, thrashing Neftci Baku of Azerbaijan 4-0 to progress to the second qualifying round of the Europa League 5-3 on aggregate. Elsewhere, Ferencváros exited the competition after losing by a single goal away against Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel.
There was a tremendous atmosphere at Újpest’s stadium and those present on Wednesday evening could certainly feel that another momentous European night was very much possible. The first opening in the game came in the 14th minute when a slick passing move down the left wing ended with Donát Zsótér turning nicely but directing a low cross from the left corner of the penalty area just behind the onrushing Soma Novothny. The visitors’ first real threat followed soon after but Anton Krivostsyuk’s low drive well gathered by Filip Pajovic.
Újpest knew they’d have to score at least twice to stand a chance of progressing to a second round tie with Spanish giants Sevilla and their attacking intent was rewarded as early as the 19th minute Zsótér’s left-footed, inswinging corner from the right side was headed into the centre of the goal at the back post by captain Róbert Litauszki.
Two minutes later and home fans were in dreamland as Bojan Sankovic collected a half-clearance from Neftci defender Abisov and picked out the top left corner of goalkeeper Salahat Aghayev’s net to put Újpest in pole position in the tie.The 20-time Hungarian champions looked capable of scoring every time they attacked and another goal was almost forthcoming in the 38th minute, Novothny’s downward header from Burekovic bouncing up and onto the angle of the left post and crossbar and away to safety.
It was no surprise that the 3,782 fans present warmly applauded the home team off the pitch after a fabulous first half which now meant Nebojsa Vignjevic’s side were ahead on away goals, but life was to get even better for those of a lilac and white persuasion four minutes into the second period, Zsótér manoeuvring his body superbly to volley the ball into the net via the left post from 12 metres after forward Obinna Nwobodo had pounced on a loose backpass and seen his shot bounce up from the body of a sprawling Aghayev.
A 4-0 lead was more than enough for Újpest to progress but two away-team goals would see them knocked out and Neftci served notice of their intent to gain a foothold in the game when Magamed Mirzabekov’s shovelled cross from the right wing was volleyed just wide of the far left post by substitute Amponsah. The visitors’ night was summed up though when Junior found himself clean through in the right channel after a defensive slip but blazed his shot high and wide of the goal.
Indeed, Obinna nearly scored his side’s fifth goal of the night, only for his first-time drive from the edge of the area after a cutback from the left wing to be held well by Aghayev. It didn’t matter though; Újpest had cruised through to the second round with a four-goal mauling of their Azeri opponents.
Elsewhere, Újpest’s biggest rivals Ferencváros crashed out of the Europa League at the first hurdle, a single-goal loss in Israel seeing them fall 2-1 on aggregate against Maccabi Tel Aviv after last week’s 1-1 draw in the Groupama Aréna.
Eliran Atar scored the crucial goal in first-half added time but the hosts also hit the woodwork twice and spurned several other opportunities to ensure progression to the next round.
Source: mlsz.hu – press release