Ferencvaros clash will bring back happy memories
Tuesday night will Leeds United come up against Hungarian giants Ferencvaros in the final game of their three game tour of Slovenia.
The game will bring back happy memories for some of the older Leeds United fans who can remember the 1967/68 Inter Cities Fairs Cup triumph over two-legs to see Leeds lift their first European silverware.
Ferencvaros had already lifted the trophy in 1965 and they had won the Hungarian title the previous two seasons and had a host of Hungarian internationals in their side.
Leeds had come into this final looking to put their final defeat to Dynamo Zagreb the previous season behind them.
The first leg at Elland Road on August 7th 1968 saw Leeds take a slender advantage into the second leg.
Mick Jones scored what proved to be the crucial goal of the contest on 41 minutes. Leeds had targeted the Hungarian international goalkeeper Geczi throughout the first half, putting him under pressure when balls came into the box.
Jack Charlton beat Geczi in the air from Peter Lorimer`s corner and Mick Jones beat three men on the line to bundle home.
Leeds held on for a slender win in the second half with Ferencvaros testing the boundaries of the laws of the game with a number of cynical and deliberate fouls.
Both Johnny Giles and Mick Jones had to be substituted in the second half through injury. Giles was forced off with double vision after a clash of heads and Jones was carried off the pitch after a horrific tackle from goalkeeper Geczi that went unpunished because the referee had already blown his whistle for a free-kick in the build-up.
In the second leg, over 76,000 fans crammed into the national stadium (Nep Stadium) in Budapest, as Leeds clung onto their slender first leg lead for their lives.
Leeds were forced to defend for long periods of the game but it was Mick Jones who came closest to scoring in the first half when his header hit the crossbar with Geczi well beaten.
In the second half, it was backs against the wall stuff for Leeds. Sprake made a good save early in the half to deny Szoke, who had found space at the back post.
Sprake was at his best again later in the game when he denied Novak from a free kick with a full length reaction save.
Ferencvaros thought their pressure had paid off late in the game when Varga beat Sprake but his shot hit the side netting.
First Leg at Elland Road
Sprake, Reaney, Charlton, Hunter, Cooper, Bremner, Giles (J.Greenhoff 46), E.Gray, Lorimer, Madeley, Jones (Belfitt 46).
Géczi, Novák, Páncsics, Havasi, Juhász, Szűcs, Szőke (Karaba 60), Varga, Albert, Rákosi, Fenyvesi (Balint 65)
Second Leg at Nep Stadium Budapest
Géczi, Novák, Páncsics, Havasi, Juhász, Szűcs, Szőke (Karaba 60), Varga, Albert, Rákosi, Katona
Sprake, Reaney, Charlton, Hunter, Cooper, Bremner, O'Grady, Lorimer, Madeley, Hibbitt (Bates 68), Jones.
They have met since. In the 1969/70 season, Leeds won both legs 3-0 as they progressed to the third round of the European Cup.
Ferencvaros, who have won the Hungarian title on 28 occasions, have had their problems like us in recent years. In 2006, they were relegated from the Hungarian top flight due to financial difficulties.
One name familiar to both clubs is Bobby Davison. The former Leeds striker, who helped Leeds win the Division Two title in 1990 spent eighteen months as manager of Ferencvaros between 2008-2009. He led them to the Division Two title in his only full season in charge.
They have remained in the Hungarian top flight since and they won their first trophy in nine years last season when they lifted the Hungarian League Cup.
The game between the two on Tuesday night will bring back memories for those fortunate enough to remember the great Don Revie side.
Leeds return to the venue of their first game in Slovenia for the clash with Ferencvaros. The Fazanerija Stadium in Murska Sobota will host the game with a 5pm kick off BST.
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