After their surprising defeat at home to Trnava last week, Slovan Bratislava would have felt just a little trepidation about their trip to Myjava on Saturday. But they emerged with their lead at the top of the Corgoň Liga extended to three points, thanks to a 2-1 victory. Filip Hlohovský and Igor Žofčák scored first-half goals and, although substitute Zoltan Harsányi made it a nervous finale by pulling one back for the hosts, Slovan held on. Myjava coach Ladislav Hudec claimed afterwards that hearts were clearly beating fast on the visitors’ bench as his side piled on the pressure towards the end. Opposite number Samuel Slovák praised both teams, saying his own players ‘had to give everything to beat a side as good as Myjava were today’.
Vion Zlaté Moravce remain in second place but will be disappointed not to have returned from Prešov with three points. After a scrappy first-half, Vion took the lead six minutes into the second period through another long-range spectacular from Lukáš Janič, his third such strike in two matches. Prešov made two attacking substitutions in an attempt to rescue something from the game and were rewarded in the 77th minute when Vion’s Milan Bortel deflected a cross into his own net.
Senica were another of Slovan’s pursuers who had to settle for a draw, in their case 1-1 away to Trnava. Martin Vyskočil gave the hosts the lead halfway through the first-half, but Juraj Piroška equalised at the equivalent point of the second period. Senica coach Zdeněk Psotka felt it was a valuable point, especially as Trnava had the better chances towards the end of the game. As for the hosts, the result is good enough to keep them away from the bottom of the table for now, but their coach, Pavel Hoftych, felt it was two points lost. Trnava will also be disappointed that, a week after their win at Slovan, they were watched by just 2,909, their lowest league attendance of the season.
Košice maintained their excellent home form by easily beating Ružomberok on Saturday. Ivan Ostojič set them on the way with a header from a corner inside the very first minute. Ján Novák and Kamil Kuzma added further goals. Ruža coach Ladislav Šimčo, returning to his former club, couldn’t understand his current team’s over-respectful approach to the game, adding that Košice ‘fully deserved’ their victory. Košice’s Ján Kozák was more concerned about the suspected broken leg sustained by Martin Bukata. ‘He’d just got into the Under-21 squad and was thrilled about it,’ said Kozák. ‘I’d swap the three points for some good news about him.’
Nitracoach Ladislav Jurkemík was sacked early in the week, following the miserable run that had seen the side pick up just two points from eight matches. His replacement, Jozef Vukušič, might have hoped for a decent result away to Banská Bystrica, who have also been going through a spell of poor form. After 85 minutes of mediocre football, a 0-0 draw looked on the cards. But late strikes from Matúš Turňa and Tomáš Hučko (a penalty) gave Bystrica all three points. Their patience and battling qualities merited the win, according to coach Norbert Hrnčár. He might have added that the patience of the Bystrica players outlasted that of many fans, only 610 of whom bothered to turn up for the game.
The Sunday game, Žilina v Trenčín, kicked off at the unusual time of 1230. On the way to the ground, all seemed well with the world. It was an unseasonably warm, sunny day and the autumn colours on Dubeň hill gave the stadium an even more picturesque backdrop than usual. Then the game had to go and ruin everything. Trenčín started slightly the sharper, but were reduced to ten men after just 20 minutes when Aldo Omar Baez was sent off for a dangerous tackle. Žilina never found the cohesion necessary to trouble their visitors, however, and the contest petered out into a tedious 0-0 draw. Former ADO Den Haag player František Kubík showed pace and some good touches for Trenčín. For Žilina, only Serge Akakpo reached a reasonable standard. Credit, though, to the visiting fans for the reassuring words on the giant banner they unfurled. ‘You’ll never drink alone,’ it read.
Myjava 1 Slovan 2
Prešov 1 Zlaté Moravce 1
Trnava 1 Senica 1
Košice 3 Ružomberok 0
Banská Bystrica 2Nitra0
Žilina 0 Trenčín 0