Sunday 8 May 2022

Ground #365 - MOL Aréna

Date: 16th April 2022
Location: Dunajská Streda, Trnava, Slovakia
Ground: MOL Aréna

My fifth new ground of 2022 was on Saturday 16th April at the MOL Aréna in Dunajská Streda, Trnava, Slovakia. The game was DAC Dunajská Streda vs. MŠK Žilina in the Slovak Super Liga.

The MOL Aréna is set in parkland in a predominantly residential area. This is in the north of the town of Dunajská Streda some 30 miles east of the Slovakian capital Bratislava. The venue is located half a mile north of the town's railway station and has been home to the club since 1953.

The stadium is in effect a very new one having been completely rebuilt in stages between 2016-2019. The UEFA Category 4 stadium is impressive given the size of the town and has allowed the club to compete in the early rounds of European competition in recent seasons. The stadium is uniform in shape with all four stands of the same size and an overall capacity of 12,700. The largest departure in appearance is the South Stand which is the main base for the club - facing outwards this stand has a well-sized club shop with a section for club history and memorabilia as well as the reception area. Inside it has corporate boxes along the back for most of the length and has seating spread out into different sections to accommodate different ticket holder levels as well as media and officials. The two dugouts are situated at the front of this stand by pitchside.

The remainder of the ground is a fairly standard 'bowl' set-up. This is only disrupted by the quadrants  which have the lower level set aside for access, the middle level for seating and the top level space for other features such as big screens in the north-east and south-west corners. The east stand is home to the more vocal home fans and has netting in front of it to separate from the pitch whilst there is a segregated away area in the west stand heading towards the north-west corner. The area in between the roof and the top of the seating on the northern, eastern and western sides is open so the venue allows in a lot of sunlight. Finally, each side has a raised platform located centrally for TV cameras when the club is playing matches covered for live broadcast. 

The Slovakian Super Liga splits into a championship group and a relegation group towards the end of the season and both sides were in the former, albeit scrapping for the minor places. Neither were on a good run either with no wins in their last 5 games each. The opening goal came with just 83 seconds on the clock - it came about when a long ball was headed onto Thibaud Verlinden on the left wing and his perfectly weighted cross was turned in off the crossbar from 12 yards by Rego Szantho. Zilina were unlucky not to equalise in the 6th minute when a curling effort from the left-side of the area came back off the post and bounced back towards a DAC defender to clear. A spectacular goal arrived in the 13th minute when the ball broke to defender Andrejs Ciganiks who let from from over 25 yards out - the ball took a deflection off Patrik Myslovic which saw it aggressively dip over Lubomir Belko and into the away net. The visitors went close again the 21st minute when a cross was headed just the wrong side of the post by David Duris. This was as good as it got for Zilina though and they were fortunate not to go into the break three goals down after a sequence in the 41st minute which saw DAC hit the post twice in the space of two seconds. Firstly Milan Dimun's crisp 20-yard drive hit the woodwork and on the rebound Thibaud Verlinden managed to do the same this time with goal gaping. DAC were well worth their lead and continued to have opportunities in the second half with Dimun shot just over from 20 yards in the 59th minute. Zilina for their part did create occasionally with Jan Minarik heading just wide from a corner in the 69th minute, but they were mostly limited to long-range efforts which Daniel Veszelinov dealt with. The final great time to score came in the 85th minute - an Eric Davis free-kick was nodded towards goal by Norbert Balough prompting a good save by Zilina keeper Belko before Mateus Brunetti bundled the ball wide. A comfortable win for Dunajská Streda to help their firm up a 4th place finish in the standings. 

Result: DAC Dunajská Streda 2-0 MŠK Žilina
Division: Slovak Super Liga
Attendance: 2,701

No comments:

Post a Comment