Apr 08 2012

Corgon Liga Round 26 .. before the BIG ONE!

Published by at 9:04 am under Domestic

We’ll start at the bottom of the table today as the issues there are looking clearer by the game. Bottom side DAC Dunajská Streda lost two more games this last week and are now six points adrift of Tatran Prešov. Visiting out of form Vion Zlaté Moravce on Tuesday, DAC may have scented the opportunity to finally earn a decent result. But, after taking an 18th minute lead through Jiří Kabele, they began to self-destruct. Martin Hruška and Andrej Hodek scored for the hosts, then, just before half-time, Lukáš Matúš was sent off. Martin Luhový made it 3-1 in the 50th minute and, although Dzon Delarge pulled one goal back, DAC’s spirited battle with ten men was in vain. On Saturday, it was visiting Ružomberok’s turn to go down to ten men – Lukáš Greššak picking up a second yellow card after 60 minutes – but DAC couldn’t find an answer to Štefan Pekár’s 14th minute goal. It now transpires that Werner Lorant, reappointed as head coach of DAC two weeks ago, failed to renew his licences when they expired in 2008 and is thus barred from coaching. His job title has been hastily altered to director of football. Not only are DAC going down, they’re a circus.

Prešov keep picking up points at regular enough intervals to edge further and further away from bottom place. One exception was last Tuesday when they couldn’t find an answer to Mario Bicák’s goal for Trnava. On Saturday, however, they showed their spirit by scoring in the 89th and 90th minutes to earn a 2-2 home draw with Banská Bystrica. Lukáš Laksík scored twice for Bystrica, taking his spring tally of goals to four, but a David Střihavka header and  Jan Krob’s penalty denied them victory. Prešov coach Sergij Kovalec, who never fails to find something positive to say, was delighted with his side’s character, while Bystrica’s Štefan Zat´ko was furious with his team’s lack of it. For all his anger, though, Zat´ko did find the grace to wish everyone listening to him a happy Easter.

Košice have now gone five games without a win and must be secretly relieved by DAC’s even worse form. On Tuesday, the easterners found themselves down to ten men after just 40 seconds of their game away to Bystrica, Serbian defender Ivan Djoković seeing red for a clumsy high-footed lunge. But goalkeeper Darko Tofiloski had one of his inspired days, Martin Poljovka missed a penalty and Košice clung on for a goal-less draw. On Saturday, it was Košice’s turn to be the generous hosts. Karim Diaby hit the bar with a first-half penalty and, just three minutes into the second period, Zlaté Moravce’s Peter Orávik ran unapprehended through the home defence to score his team’s winning goal.

After a rare home win last weekend, Nitra have played two more away games. The first, away to coach Ladislav Jurkemík’s former club Ružomberok on Tuesday, resulted in a 1-1 draw. Ondřej Murín gave Nitra an early lead but Pavol Masaryk equalised mid-way through the second-half. On Saturday, after taking a 3rd minute lead at Trenčín through Seydouba Soumah, Jurkemík’s team were hit by a five-goal blast from the hosts. Vratislav Gajdoš did equalise for Nitra at 2-2, but overall they had few answers to Trenčín’s firepower. Jurkemík didn’t appear ready to panic afterwards, perhaps rightly given that Nitra are certain to finish in mid-table, that this was only their third defeat away from home all season, and that Trenčín are a dangerous proposition for anyone on their artificial pitch.

That pretty much wraps up the travails of the sides in the bottom half of the table, so what about the top end? Senica have re-established themselves on the fringes of the title race with two solid home performances over the last four days. On Tuesday, they thrashed Trenčín 4-0, with three of the goals stemming from perfectly delivered set-pieces. On Saturday, another well-worked set-piece gave them the lead against Žilina ; Tomáš Kóňa’s 29th minute free-kick was headed in by Petr Pavlík. But four minutes later, Róbert Pich nodded in Ernest Mabouka’s cross to earn the visitors a draw.

Žilina can be reasonably satisfied with the Senica result since it at least showed that the euphoria following their 3-0 win over Slovan Bratislava on Tuesday hadn’t got the better of them. Slovan started marginally the better of two cautious sides on Tuesday and Karol Mészáros and Juraj Halenár might have done better with presentable half-chances. But Žilina, who‘d had one or two promising moments towards half-time, took advantage of their visitors’ sleepy start to the second period, establishing a 2-0 lead through Issiaka Bello and Pich before 60 minutes were up. Bello’s second goal, which arrived in the 90th minute, was the perfect way to round off a superb personal performance and the best answer to the racial abuse he endured from the away following through much of the second-half.

Žilina, currently three points ahead of Trnava and five ahead of Slovan, will now be hoping that Sunday’s big game between Slovan and Trnava ends in a draw. Slovan are clear favourites with the bookies for this game, perhaps rightly given that they haven’t lost a ‘home’ league match since autumn 2010, but they have a number of key players missing. Trnava, meanwhile, are the side in form, as four successive wins with no goals conceded would suggest. With 1,300 away fans expected at Pasienky, and the Slovan fans disgruntled after Tuesday, Trnava may have the edge off the field too. Whatever happens today, the title-race remains far from over.

James Baxter

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Corgon Liga Round 26 .. before the BIG ONE!”

  1.   Jameson 08 Apr 2012 at 10:05 am

    Forgot to put the actual results in :

    3rd April

    Zilina 3 Slovan 0
    Trnava 1 Presov 0
    Senica 4 Trencin 0
    Zlate Moravce 3 Dunajska Streda 2
    Ruzomberok 1 Nitra 1
    Banska Bystrica 0 Kosice 0

    7th April

    Senica 1 Zilina 1
    Kosice 0 Zlate Moravce 1
    Dunajska Streda 0 Ruzomberok 1
    Trencin 5 Nitra 2
    Presov 2 Banska Bystrica 2
    Slovan ? Trnava ? (8/4)

  2.   StaryJazvecon 09 Apr 2012 at 10:16 am

    My boy Ralph was at the DAC game. He is of the opinion that Lorant is raving bonkers as well as unlicensed. Screaming at the players in German apparently, that shd get them going.

    Slovan – Trnava – sub-zero snore draw. Slovan couldnt quite find a way to break Trnava down with the thirty-yard plant onto Smetana’s chest. Highlight – first half snowstorm.

  3.   Jameson 09 Apr 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Lorant and that Mohseni chap deserve each other then. I must say I can’t get enough of the Presov coach’s press-conferences.
    Just wonder how long it’ll be before he sees a game where his team hasn’t played well or that isn’t a ‘quality encounter’. He’ll probably get the sack before it happens.

    Saw the last 25 mins of Slovan-Trnava – when I tuned in, the huste.tv guy was trying to convince himself it was an ‘interesting tactical battle’, then there were actually one or two chances towards the end. And Karhan gave Smetana a piece of his mind for leaving his foot in on the ‘keeper.

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