Ten-man Debreceni VSC completed what they hope will be the first part of a domestic double by defeating second-tier MTK Budapest FC on sudden-death penalties in the Hungarian Cup final.
Debrecen's hopes looked to be over when László Zsidai put MTK 3-2 up three minutes from the end of normal time. A man down since Balazs Nikolov's dismissal on the hour, Elemér Kondás's team summoned up one last effort, however, and Peter Szakaly's second of the game forced extra time, and then penalties. Both sides failed to convert one apiece, through Adamo Coulibaly and Rafe Wolfe, before István Verpecz saved Dávid Kálnoki-Kis' effort to seal an 8-7 shoot-out win.
It brought an absorbing conclusion to a game that began tepidly before bursting into life when Norbert Könyves broke the deadlock for MTK just before the break. Within 11 minutes of the restart Selim Bouadla and Szakaly turned things in top-flight leaders Debrecen's favour. Right-back Nikolov's second yellow card halted their ascendancy and Tibor Ladanyi (62) and Zsidai looked to have earned MTK a famous win before Szakaly struck.
Debrecen kept their cool to collect their fifth Hungarian Cup and remain on track for their second double in three seasons. Victory over nearest rivals Győri ETO FC on Sunday would leave them eight points clear in the league with three to play.
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