By Martón Dinnyés at the Ferénc Puskas stadium
Hungarian side Újpesti TE took a significant step towards the first round of the UEFA Cup as goals from Attila Polonkai, Peter Rajczi and Norbert Tóth secured victory against Swiss visitors Servette FC in Budapest. The result will leave the home side buoyant ahead of the return match, which takes place in Switzerland on 26 August.
In an even first half, neither side was able to create much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities, but it was the home side who struck first three minutes before half-time.
Polonkai was the man who broke the deadlock, the midfield player collecting the ball and shooting beyond Servette goalkeeper Sébastien Roth to put the Hungarian team in front. The goal visibly lifted the home side, who went on to take control of the match immediately after the restart and rarely relinquished their grip on the game thereafter.
Újpest on top
It was 2-0 ten minutes into the second period, Rajczi doubling Újpest's lead as he capitalised on a misunderstanding in the Servette defence to beat Roth from five metres. Just three minutes later, however, Servette were back in contention as Robert Grosz mistimed his tackle in the penalty area, bringing down David Calla and Hervé Alicarte made no mistake from the spot.
Despite the setback, Újpest continued to look the more likely scorers and created many more chances than their Swiss visitors, with Tóth and Rajczi both hitting the crossbar.
Tóth on target
With Servette adopting a defensive approach and only forward Eric Hassli consistently causing problems for the home defence, it was little surprise that it only took the home team nine minutes to restore their two-goal advantage. Former Hungarian international Tóth finished a nice counterattack with a powerful shot to ensure that the vast majority of the crowd went home happy and leave Servette with a lot to do in two weeks' time.