Aug 20 2012

Corgon Liga Round-up

Published by at 10:01 am under Uncategorized

We’ll start at the bottom of the Corgoň Liga, where concerns are deepening at Trnava. During the week, the SFZ disciplinary committee decreed that Miroslav Karhan must give up the club captaincy until the spring after he kicked a TV microphone following last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Senica. At the same time, co-owner Vladimír Poor was compelled to insist that coach Pavel Hoftych’s job was not under threat. At least a Saturday visit from inconsistent Trenčín looked like the ideal opportunity for Hoftych’s side to finally get their league season up and running. Instead, Trenčín strolled to a 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Jakub Holúbek, Samuel Štefaník and David Depetris. Hoftych made no excuses afterwards, admitting that Trnava are in an ‘unpleasant, difficult situation’. As for Trenčin, a betting man’s nightmare, their game at home to Slovan Bratislava next Saturday should be worth seeing.

Trnava have company at the foot of the table in the shape of Spartak Myjava, who lost 1-0 at home to Banská Bystrica. Myjava, who had most of the play and chances, were especially unlucky in the 42nd minute, when Bystrica ‘keeper Peter Boroš somehow changed direction to turn aside Martin Černáček’s header. Six minutes from full-time, substitute Martin Pančík ran onto Radoslav Augustín’s pass and finished emphatically to give the visitors the points. Their coach, Norbert Hrnčár, expressed his relief afterwards, pointing out that three of his players had been on Under-21 duty inKievduring the week. He was also full of praise for Myjava’s ground redevelopment. ‘This place shows it is possible to create good surroundings for football inSlovakia,’ he said.

Eastern Slovakia’s two top-flight clubs both maintained their 100% home records at the weekend. Košice effectively decided their match with Vion Zlaté Moravce in three minutes just after the hour mark, when Dávid Škutka and Peter Šinglar both scored. Vion did reply, through Ľubomír Bernáth in the 77th minute, but coach Juraj Jarábek wasn’t fooled into thinking they deserved better than defeat. ‘We only started playing in the last 20 minutes,’ he said. He also had harsh words for referee Horváth ; ‘Košice didn’t need him to help them. Perhaps he just doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ The disciplinary committee will be gathering again this week….

Nitra’s Ladislav Jurkemík was another coach making the long trek west in a bad mood after his team were beaten 1-0 at Prešov. The decisive goal, after 40 minutes, was a rather freakish affair, Miloš Šimončič deflecting Marián Adam’s cross into his own net. ‘It wasn’t a good game,’ complained Jurkemík, ‘Prešov scored a lucky goal, then they just defended and kept breaking up the play.’ His opposite number, Angel Červenkov, was naturally happier, praising his team for their ‘character and fight’.

Champions Žilina were obviously expected to be among the sides contesting top place from the start of the season, but the same could not be said about Ružomberok, their Saturday visitors. As it turned out, though, Ruža’s disciplined defensive performance in a 0-0 draw suggested they’re not ready to start plummeting down the table just yet. While it was a fine team effort from them, their captain, Tomáš Ďubek, deserves special mention. Not only did he play with skill and good sense in central midfield, he was constantly instructing and encouraging his team-mates. The effect was such that coach Ladislav Šimčo, in contrast to the agitated figures who normally inhabit the ‘technical area’, didn’t feel the need to rise from his bench until the game entered the last ten minutes. As for Žilina, they sent on Miroslav Kačer, a midfielder who only turned16 inJune, for the second-half, and he came as close as anyone to conjuring up a goal when his long-range shot took a deflection and spun millimetres wide of the right-hand post. Reflecting their good start to the season was Ruža’s away following,  easily the largest they’ve had at Žilina since spring 2006, when the team was closing in on the league title. Long may the fans‘ enthusiasm continue.

The draw at Žilina gave Slovan the chance to take a two-point lead at the top when they entertained Senica in the Sunday fixture. Slovan duly won 1-0, thanks to defender Kristian Kolčák’s 39th minute header from a Filip Hlohovský corner. Senica had most of the play after half-time but were unable to break down the stubborn home defence. Žilina play their game in hand on Tuesday (at home to Trnava) so Slovan may be knocked off their perch within 48 hours. Still, Samuel Slovák will be pleased with the three successive victories claimed since he took charge of the team. He will also feel that there are better performances still to come once he’s found the best way to blend the various talents at his disposal.

Trnava 0 Trenčín 3

Myjava 0 Banská Bystrica 1

Košice 2 Zlaté Moravce 1

Prešov 1 Nitra 0

Žilina 0 Ružomberok 0

Slovan 1 Senica 0


James Baxter

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Corgon Liga Round-up”

  1.   Jameson 22 Aug 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Zilina 1 Trnava 1 yesterday (Tues 21st). Interesting game, Trnava were in a mess beforehand but had obviously had a big ‘clear the air’ session and did the pre-match build-up at a spa in Rajec. The only way was up for them, making them dangerous opponents. In fairness, they never come to Za just to defend.

    Even first-half, Za were on top early on, then Trnava took over
    up to HT. On 54 mins, Piacek headed in a corner to put Za 1-0 up. I thought that wd be enough, but then Majtan had a total brainstorm, committing two blatant, totally needless bookable offences (63rd and 65th mins). Trnava sensed their chance and equalised with their own header from a corner on 84 mins. The last 25 mins from them was a good demonstration of how to play with 11 against 10. With only one striker to mark, they pushed a defender up, and kept Za (mostly) pinned in their own half.

    Karhan mostly excellent as ever, though Ceesay (also very good) skinned him a couple of times. Trouble with Momo is he observes Ramadan at this time of year and just can’t keep his strength up enough to play 90 mins. The fact he faded was another reason Trnava were on top towards the end.

    Also liked Trnava’s no 16 Vlasko. In a team that’s pretty prosaic for the most part, his skills stood out.

    Trnava will be fine, but not good enough to win the league – and def not from this position. Slovan shd be pretty happy with the way things are shaping….

  2.   britskibelasion 23 Aug 2012 at 8:34 am

    No-one seems to be able to push on and build anything / improve, how have Trnava gone so far back from the end of last season?!

  3.   Jameson 23 Aug 2012 at 10:52 am

    Only my opinion, but right at the root of it is the lack of a player with real creative flair (a Milinkovic/Salinas type).

    I think they should have looked at last season and thought, ‘we’re not far away now, we’ve got strong, disciplined players, decent tactics etc, but to win this league we need sb who can really open teams up in tight games’. They had one up to last autumn, in fact, in Koro-Kone. It wasn’t their fault he left, and they covered up well for his absence in spring, but another player of that nature wd have moved them on this season. But I suspect Hoftych, or sb in the set-up, is suspicious of those types.

    Then the season starts, with two home games against sides ready to defend for their lives, they can’t break them down and draw both. Whatever other problems they’ve had have followed from there, I think. I definitely don’t think it’s about balancing Europe and league. They coped with that last season.

    Za have off-field matters to deal with now. Coach is furious with Majtan for his red card. Also, Deza, who was a sub, stormed off to the dressing-room in the 75th min, when it was clear he wasn’t going to be sent on. I tell you, this is Slovan’s season….

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