OSC came back twice, but lost to FTC for the fourth time

Day 8, Group B – FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Genesys-OSC Budapest (HUN) 12-11

Just ten days ago and some 5km away, FTC led 3-10 at halftime and 7-16 in the fourth before OSC did some ’cosmetics’, a late 5-0 surge made the final scoreline a bit more ‘tolerable’. Now the Hungarian arch-rivals faced off once more, for the fourth time in 8 weeks – and produced another memorable match.

The first period was balanced – just like in the previous encounter –, three goals came apiece, two in the last 33 seconds. Last time FTC staged a 1-7 run in the second – now nothing even similar happened. On contrary, after equalising twice, Marton Toth could even take the lead for OSC with a fine centre-shot at 5-6. Szilard Jansik levelled the score from a man-up and after Vince Vigvari was denied twice in a man-down by the blocking hands, Daniil Merkulov could put the greens ahead with a brilliant shot 4 seconds from time.

That was crucial as FTC kicked off the third in devastating mood, two action goals in 52 seconds, followed by a fine shot from the perimeter by Merkulov gave the favourites a 10-6 lead. Erik Bundschuch could halt their 5-0 run and score again for OSC (ending a silence of 7:38 minutes), soon Erik Csacsovszky could pull one more back from another 6 on 5. OSC survived a man-down late in the third, and another one early in the fourth, then Gergely Burian came up with a beauty, a fantastic lob from the distance to get his team very much back into the game at 10-9.

Ferencvaros lost their composure a bit after 10-6, Stylianos Argyropoulos missed their third man-up in a row (the Greek had only better games than this one, finished the evening with a 10/2 shooting ratio), but OSC were unable to equalise. A fourth man-up finally broke the ice, though it was a bit adventurous how the ball found Luca Damonte on the right wing – all in all, the Italian sent it home for 11-9 and halted FTC’s scoreless phase of 7:12 minutes. Two more minutes of battling was closed down by Denes Varga’s fine action goal from a counter-like attack, so at 12-9 his brother Daniel Varga had to find out something special at the other bench. Well, the coach and his players ‘said’ an all-in, scored twice in 52 seconds, defended well, had a last possession, earned a man-up 21 seconds from time so they had a great chance to save the game at least to a tie… But the happy end never came, at least not for them, Csacsovszky’s ball flew away, above the crossbar, so OSC lost for the fourth time in as many matches to FTC since mid-December, and by a single goal for the third time (each occasion in FTC’s home).

At the same time, Ferencvaros managed to bag all three points in their home Champions League match again to make it 4/4 so far. None of these wins came with ease (12-11 this time, 9-8 over Marseille, 9-7 against Jug, 14-12 against NBG), but still earned them 12 extremely valuable points.

How they saw it

Zsolt Varga, coach, FTC

“The two sides know each other really well, so despite claiming a big win in our previous match, this time we had an extremely difficult task. I consider it a huge accomplishment that we could beat OSC for the fourth time, and I’m happy that our concentration was a bit better in the last moments.”

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC

“With our game, we are getting closer and closer to Ferencvaros and knowing the difference between the potential of the two clubs, this one-goal defeat can be regarded a good result, though not a single point is rewarded for that. There are more important things than the rankings, like the road the team is travelling. This time I got back from my players what I had expected and that makes me really happy.”