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Hope springs eternal for Honvéd

Published: Friday 17 August 2007, 21.00CET
Coach Attila Supka feels "a surprise is still possible" after Budapest Honvéd FC kept their UEFA Cup dream alive with a 0-0 draw at home against Hamburger SV.
by Matthew Watson-Broughton
from Budapest
Published: Friday 17 August 2007, 21.00CET

Hope springs eternal for Honvéd

Coach Attila Supka feels "a surprise is still possible" after Budapest Honvéd FC kept their UEFA Cup dream alive with a 0-0 draw at home against Hamburger SV.

Coach Attila Supka feels "a surprise is still possible" after Budapest Honvéd FC kept their UEFA Cup dream alive with a 0-0 draw at home against Hamburger SV.

Encouraging result
The side from the Hungarian capital looked to have been dealt a cruel blow by the second qualifying round draw as they were picked to play German giants Hamburg, but equipped themselves admirably at home last night. They now go into their 50th UEFA Cup game in Germany in two weeks time with their chances of earning a place in the first round still in the balance.

Growing confidence
Honvéd coach Supka said: "We became more and more confident as the match went on and we were equal to Hamburg after a weak start. We created chances and could have earned an advantage to take into the second leg. I said that we have a 30 percent chance of qualifying for the next round before the game and the situation has not been really changed. A surprise is still possible."

Lean period
Regarded as one of the most gifted club sides in the world in the 1950s heyday of the Magical Magyars, Honvéd have fallen on harder times in subsequent decades - they have not won a league title since 1993 and have not made it to the first round proper of any of the major UEFA club competitions since the turn of the millennium. However, the Hungarian Cup holders could change that statistic with a win or a scoring draw in the return leg in Hamburg.

Stevens disappointed
Of course, Hamburg coach Huub Stevens will be determined to avoid that scenario after admitting to being disappointed with his side's showing in Budapest. "We started the match at a really high tempo but we gradually slowed down," he said. "I was not satisfied with our play in the second period but this is still the only the first half of the fight and we definitely need to qualify after the match in Hamburg."

Last updated: 17/08/07 15.19CET

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