Hungary's winningest club Ferencvárosi TC and European newcomers Paksi SE made bright UEFA Europa League starts yet the latter's coach expects "a much better Paks" next week.
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After Debreceni VSC represented Hungary in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League last season, two NBI teams of very different pedigree made positive starts to the competition's new campaign on Thursday night.
Back in Europe after a six-year absence, Ferencvárosi TC are their country's most successful club with 28 league titles, 20 Hungarian Cups and having beaten Juventus to lift the 1965 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the non-UEFA affiliated predecessor of the UEFA Cup. The Budapest outfit kicked off their latest trophy tilt with a 3-0 home victory against Armenia's Ulisses FC, with their guests missing a penalty just before the break.
UEFA Champions League group stage contenders in 1995/96, Ferencváros went ahead through a 31st-minute György Józsi goal, with new signings Mark Otten and Felipe completing the scoring. However, mindful of the long trip in prospect for next week's first qualifying round return leg, coach László Prukner said: "I am really glad to get the win in our first European game of the season but the battle is not over."
NB I runners-up last term, Paksi SE launched their first-ever continental foray with a 1-0 success at Andorra's UE Santa Coloma. Gábor Vayer notched the Green and Whites' first European goal on 15 minutes. With their all-Hungarian squad, Paks won plenty of friends at home last season and also the League Cup, yet coach Károly Kis asked for patience as they look to step up a level.
"Every start is hard," Kis explained. "We had our chances but we made a lot of mistakes and played nervously, especially after the break. I believe the fans will see a much better Paks in the home game."