Pál Dárdai: "No one can take this victory away from Vidi"

The former Hungarian national team manager and Hertha head coach will be on hand to cheer on the team in the return leg.

After a brilliant 2-1 win away at Cologne on Thursday night, our team is now just one step away from qualifying for the UEFA conference League group stage, with the return leg to be played at the MOL Arena Sósto on Thursday at 19:00. In the match in Germany, the winning goal was scored by Palko Dárdai, who in the 41st minute, after a superb pass from Zivzivadze, fired an unstoppable strike into the top right corner of the goal from a sharp angle. Former Hungarian national team manager and Hertha BSC head coach Pál Dárdai watched the match and his son's winning goal live at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, and we first caught up with him to look back on Thursday night's great performance.

"This victory is of great value. It was a big credit for the head coach and the coaching staff that the boys played so well and fought so hard under such pressure. Before the game I was hoping for a result that would give us a chance of a miracle in the home return leg, but the miracle happened earlier in Cologne. Home possession superiority or not, Cologne converted one of their two big chances, while Vidi's two goals came from beautifully executed attacks after nice combinations, so there was no reason to complain about the number of 100% chances. We could see that the German players were at their best, they dominated the game with 10 men in the second half, they are used to this pace. Our team will be buoyed by the great atmosphere, we have the advantage, I really hope we can keep it at home. I think Vidi will need at least one goal, maybe more, in the return leg, because it will be very difficult to hold Cologne for 90 minutes. We need to have a very good day, we need a good goalkeeping performance, no injuries, no red cards and good combinations in the game. It will be a very difficult game in the return leg, I hope the stadium will be full and the fans will cheer the team all the way. Of course I will be there to support Vidi!"

Paul Dárdai, who has played in 61 national team matches as a player, was also asked about what it was like to be in the stadium to witness his son's amazing goal.

"I coached Palko in both the youth and adult teams, so I've seen a lot of goals like Thursday's from him. He moved in with good rhythm, got a nice pass in, he had to make a very quick decision to aim for the bottom or the short top, he made a good decision and the shot was unstoppable. A goal and a win like that in front of so many spectators is a memory of a lifetime, no one can take that away. What Vidi achieved in Cologne on Thursday night is a historic feat."

As for the German press reaction, Dárdai said that the majority were already looking ahead after the defeat.

"The day after the match, Cologne's defeat was also discussed in Germany, and criticism is also voiced there, but it doesn't last for days, it's quickly overcome. That's what I wanted to achieve with the national team back then, to get everyone behind the team, to support them, and I did that, and fortunately I've still got that, along with the national team. In Germany it has been like that for a very long time, they formulate their criticism, but then they concentrate on the next game. Cologne were also confident after the match, confident of progressing. I have read an opinion that Vidi would be a second-tier team in Germany, but that should not be a concern, and should give the team strength for the home return leg to prove that they can do it."

Author: David Rechnitzer