Little has changed in the Corgoň Liga. At the top, Slovan Bratislava are freewheeling towards the title, and there is still a survival battle going on at the bottom, one which may yet draw in more teams.
Slovan drew the derby match away to Trnava on Saturday. It was a game of few chances, though Slovan are the ones who had the best chance to win it, thanks to a 66th minute penalty. Lester Peltier saw his spot-kick saved by Dobrivoj Rusov, to the relief of home coach Peter Zelenský. ‘It would have been difficult for us to get a point if they’d scored then,’ he said. The game was matched by 7,011, the biggest crowd of the spring so far. Sadly, some of the visiting fans were involved in trouble. Three of them, along with one policeman, sustained injuries.
Košice and Trenčín, the 3rd and 2nd placed teams going into the game, also drew 0-0. There was little to get excited about here, though both coaches, Ján Kozák and Adrián Guľa, were happy enough with their sides’ performances. The result leaves both trailing Slovan by ten points.
Žilina have been the league’s worst side this spring, and suffered another defeat on Saturday, 1-0 at home to Senica. Žilina were appalling for the first half-hour or so but, oddly enough, the 35th minute sending-off of left-back Ricardo Nunes seemed to galvanise them. They were on top for much of the second period, only for two Senica substitutes to fashion an 86th minute winning goal – Rolando Blackburn converting Juraj Piroška’s cross. Neither coach was satisfied afterwards. Štefan Tarkovič felt that some of his players’ approach to the first-half was ‘unworthy of the MŠK Žilina shirt’. Vladimír Koník, meanwhile, was critical of Senica’s second-half efforts. ‘It was classic Slovak syndrome,’ he said. ‘The opposition were a man down, and we let our guard drop. I can’t be happy with that.’ Perhaps a look at the table, which now shows his team in second place, will cheer him up.
Banská Bystrica left it even later to defeat Vion Zlaté Moravce, Jozef Adámik scoring the game’s only goal in injury-time after a mix-up in the Vion defence. Until then, it had been a closely-fought battle on a mud-bath of a pitch. Visiting coach Juraj Jarábek felt his team did all they could, but added that ‘you don’t often see teams losing to last-minute goals like that, even in the youth leagues’.
Prešov are one relegation-threatened side showing signs of form. They defeated Ružomberok 3-1 on Saturday. Andrej Jakovlev gave them a 13th minute lead and, following Tomáš Ďubek’s equaliser, goals from Lukáš Hruška and Ján Novák secured the victory. Ruža were forced to complete the game with only ten men when Ďubek sustained an injury just after coach Ladislav Šimčo had made his third substitution. ‘That pretty much ended our hopes of getting back into it,’ admitted Šimčo.
Myjava and Nitra met in a Sunday lunch-time fixture, and produced the weekend’s third goalless draw. As the visitors, Nitra may be the happier of the two sides with the result, the more so since it extends what could prove to be an important little unbeaten run. Myjava, for their part, have missed out on the chance to pull further clear of their opponents in the fight for survival.