Mar 18 2012

Corgon Liga Round 21: Slovan & Zilina move clear

Published by at 2:19 pm under Uncategorized

You have to be pretty flinty-hearted not to feel a little sympathy for the coach and players of DAC Dunajská Streda. The side finished the autumn phase of this season at the bottom of the Corgoň Liga and players often did not receive their salaries. Cash-flow problems became more acute over the winter following a dispute between the club owner and the town authority (an important sponsor). Training for the spring campaign began 12 days later than scheduled and there were doubts as to whether the club would be able to fulfil its remaining league fixtures. Those fears have now eased but the first three of those fixtures are, you suspect, exactly the ones no’one would have wanted ; Slovan Batislava (away), Senica (home) and Žilina (away).

DAC were praised for their performances in defeat in the first two of those games. On Saturday, they came to Žilina, played bravely and attractively, and lost again. With Krešimir Kordič partenering Dzon Delarge up front and three attacking midfielders just behind, the visitors couldn’t be accused of trying to defend and hang on for a draw. Sadly for them, though, they gave their hosts too much space. Žilina took the lead halfway through the first half with the sort of goal Róbert Pich is making his trademark. He stepped inside from the left and lashed home a right-foot shot from the corner of the penalty-area. Several further chances were created and missed and, with around 20 minutes to go, the home team became nervous, allowing Delarge a couple of presentable opportunities to equalise. He snatched at both of them, however, and his team’s defeat was confirmed in injury-time, when Miroslav Barčík marked his 300th appearance for Žilina by finishing well after good play by substitutes Jean Deza and Ján Novák.

DAC can take a little heart from the thought that fellow strugglers Prešov are not getting out of their reach. Yesterday, the eastern Slovak side were beaten 2-0 by Slovan at Pasienky. Ondřej Smetana headed the first goal, his third in two home fixtures, and Russian youngster Nika Piliev tapped in the second after excellent work down the right from Juraj Halenár. Judging from TV highlights, this was another open game with chances at both ends. Afterwards, Prešov’s engaging new coach, former Dinamo Kiev captain Serhij Kovalec, appeared more satisfied with his side’s performance than Vladimír Weiss was with Slovan’s. Still, Weiss can surely be happy with his team’s 100% start to the spring, even if they haven’t yet overtaken Žilina.

Žilina and Slovan have opened up a little gap at the top after their four pursuers all lost their latest games. Senica, masters of the 1-0 away win, were given a dose of their own medicine by visiting Košice on Friday night. Ivorian striker Karim Diaby scored the decisive goal on the half-hour. As well as moving Košice up a place and virtually ensuring that they won’t be facing a relegation battle this season, this result has damaged Senica’s title hopes.

Trnava also suffered a surprise home defeat, in their case to Nitra. The undoubted stars of this match were goalkeeper Lukáš Hroššo, whose string of spectacular saves frustrated Trnava time and time again, and Brazilian winger Cleber Silva Nasciemento, the creator of Nitra’s first goal and scorer of their second. Karol Pavelka pulled one goal back for the home side but Nitra held on, and now look likely to finish the season in mid-table obscurity.

With just one point from their first two spring fixtures, Trenčín might have been worried about being dragged into a relegation battle, but they eased their fears on Saturday with a 3-1 win at home to Vion Zlaté Moravce. Filip Hlohovský created the first two goals, for David Depetris and Peter Mazan, with Boris Goldan unselfishly setting up the clincher for Lester Peltier. A fine outside-of-the-foot shot by Martin Hruška equalised Depetris’s goal but, as coach Juraj Jarábek acknowledged, Vion were largely outplayed. They need to improve if they intend to keep challenging for a European place.

Ružomberok, beaten 2-0 in the central Slovakia derby by mid-table Banská Bystrica, appear to be another fading force. A powerful header from Marek Hlinka put Bystrica ahead but, good as it was, that goal was overshadowed by an extraordinary long-range free-kick from Radoslav Augustín, which caught ‘keeper Libor Hrdlička hopelessly out of position. This is at least the third such goal scored in Czech and Slovak football this spring, following Pavel Eliaš’s effort for Jablonec at Ostrava and Miroslav Karhan’s for Trnava against Vion. Credit to all the scorers for their opportunism, but perhaps it’s time goalkeepers started learning from each other’s mistakes.

This is an interesting point of the Corgoň Liga season. Every team has now played twenty-one games and next Saturday sees the start of a crucial spell of five rounds of fixtures in two weeks. Within that spell, Žilina v Slovan, scheduled for Tuesday 3rd April, looks huge, though both sides will be keen not to drop points before then. At the bottom, DAC v Prešov, postponed from February 25th and rearranged for March 27th, could provide a turning-point in the fight for survival. Stay with us to see what happens…..

James Baxter

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Corgon Liga Round 21: Slovan & Zilina move clear”

  1.   britskibelasion 18 Mar 2012 at 2:43 pm

    So Kordic went to DAC then? Assume that is some kind of loan deal?
    Interesting to see Smetana doing well – guess you were right about him James … put a decent ball in the box (as Cikos did) and he has a fair chance of scoring.

    Zilina v Slovan is shaping up to be a very interesting one. Especially after last year. What time is kick-off – has that been decided yet? I need to be at Bratislava airport by 21:00!

  2.   Jameson 18 Mar 2012 at 3:55 pm

    According to the ‘bible’, ie Sport’s biannual Corgon Liga supplement, yes, Kordic is on loan. It’s a different thing playing for DAC of course, but he was pretty much as he was when I saw him playing for Slovan last year – some good touches but didn’t quite use his physique as he could and faded with a quarter of the game to go. The guy they brought on as sub had a bit more life about him, tbh.

    Za v Slovan is 1430 according to Soccerway, 1730 according to the Za site and the SFZ site gives no ko time! After last year, I’m not looking forward to it much anyway.

  3.   Shire Toryon 18 Mar 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Norman Tebbit was right, they should get on their bike. Maybe f*ck off back to Senec.

  4.   Shire Toryon 19 Mar 2012 at 12:12 am

    this result has damaged Senica’s title hopes. You left out “non-existent”.

  5.   Shire Toryon 19 Mar 2012 at 12:17 am

    Based on those highlights, looks like Weiss’s tactics were load the mixer for Smetana at every opp. Do you think that will work against Zilina?

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