Corgon League: Slovan Taking it to the Wire
Slovan Bratislava have now wasted two opportunities to wrap up their league title. Last weekend they were hammered 4-1 at Trenčín. On Saturday, they were held to a 2-2 draw by Ružomberok at Pasienky. In the most recent game, Slovan were twice ahead, through Branislav Niňaj and Juraj Halenár, but Ruža, losers in their previous four away games, responded with goals from Andrej Lovás and Tomáš Ďubek. With a seven-point lead over second-placed Senica, and just three games left to play, there is little chance of Slovan not sealing the title ; they will now hope not to slip up at Zlaté Moravce next weekend.
Senica maintained their hold on second place with a 1-0 win over Trenčín on Friday. As usual, Trenčín impressed with their ball-retention and creativity, but they failed to take good chances at the start of each half. Juraj Piroška’s 29th minute penalty won it for Senica, who can now regard last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat by neighbours Myjava as an aberration.
Košice are back in third place – above Trenčín – following a 1-0 home win over Banská Bystrica on Saturday. According to their coach, Ján Kozák, the performances of two players were key to the victory ; Miroslav Viazanko, who scored the 52nd minute winning goal, and goalkeeper Darko Tofiloski, who was equal to everything Bystrica could throw at him. Kozák’s opposite number, Norbert Hrnčár, agreed about Tofiloski. ‘He saved what he could and even what he couldn’t,’ the frustrated Bystrica coach said. ‘We created so many chances – at least one of them should have brought us a goal.’ As it is, the result leaves Bystrica still needing at least one more win to secure their Corgoň Liga status.
Hrnčár will be relieved that Prešov failed to improve upon their appalling away record on Saturday, when they lost 2-0 away to in-form Myjava. Zoltán Harsányi and Pavol Kosík scored the decisive goals, in only the second match to be played under the hosts’ new floodlights. Visiting coach Jozek Bubenko felt the game’s key moment was Ján Novák’s failure to beat the home ‘keeper in a ‘one-on-one’ with the score at 1-0. ‘If he’d scored, it would have been a different game,’ said Bubenko, ‘but goalscoring seems to be an insoluble conundrum for us.’
Trnava move above Prešov following a 3-2 win over Vion Zlaté Moravce on Sunday. This game was perhaps more dramatic than it should have been ; Trnava were 2-0 up by the 50th minute, thanks to goals from Martin Vyskočil and Oliver Augustíni. But Vion fought back with the help of Srdjan Grabež’s own goal, which was quickly followed by an equaliser from Karol Mészáros. Marek Kaščák then scored Trnava’s winner, to the relief of coach Vladimír Eckhardt. ‘Vion have given better teams than us problems this season,’ he said, ‘but the win could be vital at the end of the season.’
Žilina v Nitra was the final fixture scheduled for this round, but it was rearranged for April 23rd because of the European Under-17 Championship. Nitra won 2-1.
Slovan 2 Ružomberok 2
Senica 1 Trenčín 0
Košice 1 Banská Bystrica 0
Myjava 2 Prešov 0
Trnava 3 Zlaté Moravce 2
Žilina 1 Nitra 2 (played on April 23rd)