Slovan Bratislava at least managed to score for the first time in over 350 minutes of league football on Saturday against FK Senica, it’s unfortunate that the 2 goals (scored by internationals Sebo & Salata) were needed to comeback from a 0-2 half time deficit. At least the 1070 hardy souls who turned up for the match had some action to get excited about although the match was played in an eerie atmosphere on a bog of a pitch. They must have been wondering after Slovan’s last 3 matches ended in 0-0 draws. Personally I’m disappointed that Slovan have drawn their 5th match in a row, and their 5th place position sums up a highly unsatisfactory first half of the season. They really need to turn things around over the winter break to get back in the race for European qualification.
Given that Slovan’s arch-rivals Spartak Trnava are the team directly above them in the table, and these 2 teams face each other on the first match back after the break, the motivation should still be there for coach Karel Jarolim to turn things around.
Zilina and Trnava drew 1-1 in a match which sparked into life in the last 15 minutes in front of the biggest crowd of the week (4723), although plenty of empty seats were still evident at Stadion Pod Dubnom. As expected the crowd was swelled by a large travelling contingent who arrived on a special football train from Trnava. Minor skirmishes with the police have been reported, although 3 arrests out of a travelling crowd of around 500 is actually not that bad. A well organised Trnava side took the lead in the first half through a penalty from Ivorian Issa Kone. Zilina came back into the match in the 2nd half and equalised through a goal bundled in off Tomas Oravec’s chest (his 11th of the season). Shortly after, Zilina were awarded a penalty in a controversial incident where they actually scored from the ensuing play. The ref stuck to his guns though and the whistle had been blown before the goal was scored. So up stepped Oravec, slammed the penalty against the post, the rebound hit the keeper and was somehow saved just short of the line. A lucky escape for Trnava and the last few minutes were end to end, even they could have sneaked a winner in front of the travelling masses. In the end a draw was probably a fair result here, although it is not the upset the rest of the league may have been hoping for.
Zilina are 6 points clear of 2nd place Senica who held their own well in recent weeks. Dukla Banska Bystrica have turned around a sluggish start to the season and after 3 wins in a row find themselves in 3rd place. The latest 1-0 victory over a struggling Ruzomberok provided their 4th clean sheet in a row.
Slovan were lucky not to be overtaken by Zlate Moravce and DAC Dunajska Streda who both failed to perform to their full potential in winnable home matches. Zlate Moravce were beaten 2-1 by FC Nitra, their first win in the league since early October. DAC will be really disappointed not to have scored against bottom of the table MFK Dubnica, 0-0 in front of 3173 fans desperate to get the win which would have seen DAC leapfrog Slovan in the table. This type of result sums up the Corgon Liga for me, whenever one of the mid-table teams goes on a bit of a run of form, eventually inconsistency slips in and they just fall away again. Looking at the table going into the winter break, I suppose the only team who may raise a few eyebrows are FK Senica, so credit to them.
MFK Kosice hammered Tatran Presov 4-0 in the Eastern derby on Friday night, recent wins for both those teams see them level in 10th and 11th on 17 points. Dubnica enter the winter break on 15 points and one hopes they will survive and be back for their next fixture against Kosice on 26th February.