The temptation to mix carpet metaphors is too strong to resist.Nitraand their star player Seydouba Soumah were, as the Slovaks say, ‘on the carpet’ at the SFZ disciplinary committee on Thursday, answering to the various misdemeanours committed at their home fixture with Trnava the previous week. Soumah was fined 3,400 Euros and banned from football for six months for (this is going to be a long list) an obscene gesture at Trnava fans, stamping on Patrik Čarnota’s chest (for which he was shown a red card), attempting to punch Miroslav Karhan and threatening referee Marek Mastiš. Two other players who were sent off, Marián Kolmokov and Marek Szabo, received bans of three games and one game respectively. As a club, Nitra were fined 10,000 Euros, kicked out of the Slovak Cup and deducted any points gained in their following league game.
There was also an interesting ‘mea culpa‘ from the SFZ in their admission that 26-year old Mastiš was a poor choice of referee for a fixture at which there have been problems in the past. They did, however, decree that Mastiš should have abandoned the game after Soumah’s attack on him. As a result of that mistake, he will not be allowed to officiate in the Corgoň Liga or II Liga until next spring. As for the allegations by Soumah and his club that Trnava players were racially abusing him, the committee ruled that they could not follow up on these at present. None of the match officials heard anything untoward, while Soumah himself was unable to name names. Unsurprisingly, Trnava denied the allegations, though senior player Peter Čvirik did admit that Soumah had been identified asNitra’s main attacking threat and had thus been subjected to some uncomprising tackles. After all that, we can only hope the second metaphor, the one about ‘sweeping (things) under the carpet’, is not applicable.
Just a personal footnote, though ; Soumah’s last appearance before the fateful Trnava game was at Žilina. He gave easily the most exciting individual performance I’ve seen this season and his slalom through the home defence, ending in an effort that was brilliantly saved by Martin Dúbravka, was an especially memorable passage of play. His skills will be missed during his ban.
As luck would have it, Slovan Bratislava were the team effectively granted a ‘free hit’ atNitra. They took full advantage, winning 5-2 at Pasienky. Juraj Halenár scored the first and last goals, with Nicolas Gorosito, Lester Peltier and Filip Hlohovský adding the others. Slovan coach Samuel Slovák was sympathetic to his beaten visitors, praising Nitra’s fighting spirit and ability to cause problems going forward. More interestingly, he uttered a curt ‘no comment‘ when asked why Filip Šebo had not figured in his squad.
Žilina were desperate for a win at home to Prešov, both to bring the gap between themselves and Slovan back to three points and to end a run of five games without a victory. Coach Frans Adelaar has been having a sort out in the dressing-room, sending Tomáš Majtán on loan to Baník Ostrava, putting Peter Šulek in the B-team and introducing several teenagers to first-team action. A 3-0 win over the easterners provided early vindication of this policy. Jakub Paur, Ricardo Nunes and Momodou Ceesay were the scorers.
None of the three sides who went into the weekend level on points with Žilina managed to claim victory. Trenčín were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Ružomberok. ‘They played better football than us but that doesn’t mean they have to win,’ said Ruža coach Ladislav Šimčo afterwards.
Košice lost 3-1 away to Myjava, for whom captain Martin Černáček scored twice. His first goal arrived in the opening minute, following a bad mistake by visiting goalkeeper Darko Tofiloski. ‘That influenced the whole match,’ said Košice coach Ján Kozák. ‘It made our defence uncertain.You don’t normally see mistakes like that, even in lower league football.’
As for form side Vion Zlaté Moravce, they were swept aside 3-0 at Senica. The goals here were all scored in the last half-hour. Juraj Piroška got the first from the penalty-spot and Jaroslav Černý added the others. Vion coach Juraj Jarábek was in no mood for excuses after the game. ‘Senica fully deserved to win,’ he admitted. ‘They wanted it more than us and they showed more quality.’
Trnava went into their game with Banská Bystrica with an embarrassing home record of P5 W0 D2 L3 F1 A10. At the sixth time of asking, they sent their fans home happy, thanks to Peter Čvirik’s header from a right-wing corner. Oddly enough though, the result was not enough to lift them off the bottom of the table. Still, the league is now strikingly condensed, as just seven points separate Trnava from second-placed Žilina with ten rounds of fixtures played. Such unpredictability is surely no bad thing. And let’s also hope for less action in the disciplinary committee room over coming weeks.
Slovan 5 Nitra 2
Žilina 3 Prešov 0
Trenčín 0 Ružomberok 0
Myjava 3 Košice 1
Senica 3 Zlaté Moravce 0
Trnava 1 Banská Bystrica 0