Will Ferencvaros defend the title of the Hungarian champion? Will OSC end its drought that has lasted for decades?
These are the questions before the start of the final of the 117th Hungarian Championships (best of three) that begins tomorrow.
The playoffs for 3rd place have started. Honved defeated Vasas 9:7 in the first match (the report is at the end of the article)
2022/23 Hungarian league, final, preview
Ferencvaros is eyeing its 25th title in the national league.
OSC Budapest was the Hungarian champion seven times but hasn’t won a trophy since its golden era in the 1970s. OSC clinched its 7th national title in 1978. In the next season, the club won the Champions League and the LEN Super Cup. After that, it hasn’t added a single trophy to its treasury.
117 The first Hungarian Championship was held in 1904. Since then, the League hasn’t been held only three times due to the war (1914-1916), while the season was interrupted and canceled three years ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. The current season is the 117th edition of the league.
The 2023 final is a replay of the last season’s series for the title. Last year, Ferencvaros defeated OSC twice convincingly in the final (18:9 and 15:7). Such big margins were quite surprising for the final of maybe the best national league in the world.
OSC learned from these mistakes and was an equal opponent to Ferencvaros this season.
The two teams have met five times in three competitions since October.
Ferencvaros defeated OSC four times, but almost all matches were close contests. The exception was the first duel in the Champions League. Ferencvaros beat OSC by four goals – 16:12, after a 10:3 lead at halftime. One goal was decisive in three games, while the league match in OSC’s pool ended in a 13:13 draw.
The first gold-medal game this season – the final of the Hungarian Cup was a big drama. OSC led 12:10 before the final quarter. Ferencvaros made a turn in the last eight minutes and won the trophy with a 16:15 victory.
Champions League: OSC – Ferencvaros 12:16, Ferencvaros – OSC 12:11
Hungarian League: Ferencvaros – OSC 9:8, OSC – Ferencvaros 13:13
Hungarian Cup, Final: Ferencvaros – OSC 16:15
Both teams were convincing in most of the games of the regular season. Ferencvaros won 76 points in the regular season, achieving 25 wins in 26 games. It lost only two points (the tie against OSC). OSC finished 2nd with 70 points – ten more than 3rd-placed Vasas.
Vasas, the LEN Euro Cup winner, was considered one of the three contenders for spots in the final, but it beat neither Ferencvaros nor OSC in the regular season.
The finalists quickly qualified for the series of matches for the gold medal. Ferencvaros played against Honved, and OSC faced Vasas in the semifinals. The points won in the regular season are carried into the semifinals in the Hungarian Championships. Both Ferencvaros and OSC had six points from the league and beat their rivals in 1st matches of the semifinals, so everything ended quickly.
The finalists are in the same starting line now. The points from the regular season won’t be carried to the final. Ferencvaros’ only advantage will be the home field in the first and eventual 3rd match.
Playing in the home ground can be an advantage, but considering that both teams are used to playing in all pools in Budapest, the fact of which team is a host maybe won’t be crucial.OSC hasn’t defeated Ferencvaros since May 16, 2021 – it recorded a 10:9 victory in the third match of the semifinals of the playoffs and advanced to the final
OSC will practically finish its season with the Hungarian final. Daniel Varga’s team has the last chance to win a trophy this season. OSC will end the season with the Champions League match against Marseille, but that game has no importance for either of the rivals.
Ferencvaros has been preparing for the Hungarian final and the Champions League Final Eight.
“Fradi” had an excellent overture for the domestic final. The team coached by Zsolt Varga demolished Brescia, the leader of the Champions League, on Friday (10:6) and confirmed 3rd place in Group B. Ferencvaros played excellently in defense. It led to 7:1 in the third period. At the same time, OSC lost to Novi Beograd (9:11) at home. Only the people present in the pool had an opportunity to watch that game and estimate OSC’s current shape because the home team didn’t organize a live stream, even though it was obligated to do that as well as all Champions League clubs.
Ferencvaros is the favorite, but the results in the Hungarian League this season indicate that OSC has realistic chances.
OSC will be stronger than in the previous five matches against “Fradi” this season. Experienced center-forward Balazs Harai recovered from an injury and returned to the team of OSC two months ago.
The chances maybe aren’t 50:50, but both outcomes of the final are possible. Only lopsided contests are something that would be a surprise.The dates of the final: Ferencvaros – OSC (May 16 at 18:15), OSC – Ferencvaros (May 18 at 18:30), if needed: Ferencvaros – OSC (May 21 at 18:15)
ALL HUNGARIAN CHAMPIONS: Ujpest – 26 titles (the last title in 1995), Ferencvaros – 24 (reigning champion), Vasas 18 (the last title in 2012), Szolnok 10 (2021), BVSC – 7 (1999), OSC 7 – (1978), Honved – 6 (2006), MUE – 4 (1909), III Keruleti TVE – 3 (1928), Eger – 3 (2014), Magyar 2 (1943), Balaton 2 (1905), MAFC 1 (1917), BSE 1 (1940), Tunsgram 1 (1992)
Last ten champions – 2022: Ferencvaros, 2021: Szolnok. 2020: season canceled, 2019: Ferencvaros, 2018: Ferencvaros, 2017: Szolnok, 2016: Szolnok, 2015: Szolnok, 2014: Eger, 2013: Eger, 2012: Vasas.
3rd-place playoffs (best-of-three), Match 1
Vasas – Honved 7:9 (2:4, 2:1, 2:1, 1:3)
Vasas: Randjelovic 2, Batori 2, Mezei 1, L. Gabor 1, Erdelyi 1.
Honved: S. Hessels 3, Bendeguz 2, B.Kiss 2, Hosnyanszky 1, H.Simon 1.
Honved upset Vasas in the first match of the 3rd-place playoffs. The visitors started very well. They earned a 2-goal lead in the first quarter (2:0, 3:1, 4:2). Ekler Bendeguz made it 5:2 in the middle of the second period. Vasas answered with a 3:0 run and went ahead (6:5) in the 22nd minute. Balint Kiss leveled at 6:6 with 46 seconds left on the clock in the third period.
The turning point was a red card in the 27th minute. Sava Randjelovic, one of the best, if not the best, Vasas’ players this season, was excluded with substitution after four minutes. Sebastian Hessels converted a penalty shot awarded to Honved due to the exclusion for 7:6. Playing with a man more in the water during the next four minutes, Honved built a 9:7 lead. Vasas couldn’t equalize in the last minute and a half.
Honved will be the host in the next match on Wednesday when Vasas will be without red-carded Randjelovic.