July 6. 2022.
Draw in Kazakhstan
Despite our dominance, we failed to score against Tobol, so the round will be decided in Budapest.

It has begun! Even if it's 3900 kilometres away in Kazakhstan, the 2022/23 season has begun for our 33-time Hungarian champions and 24-time Hungarian Cup winners with the first round of the Champions League qualifying round.

"Ferencváros?" asked a Kostanay resident enthusiastically as we made our way to the local market on our morning stroll. We told him yes, and what was his prediction for the match? "Fradi is the stronger and better team, and Tobol is, well... So-so." - the man concluded the odds briefly. A little more optimistic than him was the father who, before sitting on the Ferris wheel with his son in the amusement park presented by FradiMédia, quickly noted that it would be 0-0.

Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov did not think like that when he put together his starting line-up and sent out a team of Dibusz - Botka, S. Mmaee, Kovacevic, Civic - Vécsei, Laidouni - Tokmac, Zachariassen, Traoré - Boli.

Even though there was no sign of a Champions League match in the city or in the stadium in the days before the match, or even on Wednesday, the organisers were right and the stadium was almost full when the match kicked off. The enthusiastic fans were scared in the 5th minute by Franck Boli, but our striker missed the ball in a great position after a corner from Eldar Civic.

We had more possession after that, but Tobol almost scored in the 14th minute. After a clearance and a cross from the left, Tosic shot from the centre, but Bálint Vécsei made a great save in front of our goal. In the 19th minute we missed two great chances in a few seconds! First, Tokmac Nguen's pass reached Boli, but Alexandr Mokin saved the shot, and after the rebound, Kristoffer Zachariassen's close-range effort was saved by the goalkeeper.

In the following minutes, the home side threatened with two shots, but the attempts missed Dibusz Dénes' goal. It was an even game on the pitch, we looked for gaps in Tobol's defence, but only managed to get crosses over the goal. At the end of the half, our new summer signing Adama Traoré tried a header, but it was off target. We dominated but without goal(s).

The second half started with a shot well over the goal by Traoré, then Endre Botka tried to score with little success. Tobol then had their moments, but our defenders were always in position and cleared confidently. In the 57th minute, the home team captain Askhat Tagybergen offered Dibusz from about 20 yards, but our national team goalkeeper cleared the ball from under the crossbar. Chechersov tried to slow down the Kazakhs' momentum with a double substitution. Fortune brought on Bassey and Marquinhos to replace Boli and Zachariassen.

Unfortunately, we could not break Tobol's defence in attack and their attackers found themselves in front of our goal several times, although their shots were also not perfect. The second half was a more even game, with chances on both sides, but the nets were not touched on either side, leaving us with a 0-0 draw.

The return leg will take place in a week's time at 20.00 on Wednesday 13 July at the Groupama Arena.

MEN'S FOOTBALL
Champions League, 1st qualifying round, match 1
06/07/2022, 16.00 (Hungarian time), Kostanay (Kazakhstan)
FC Tobol-FTC 0-0

FC Tobol:
Head coach: Milan Milanovic
FTC: Dibusz - Botka (Wingo, 77), S. Mmaee, Kovacevic, Civic - Vécsei (Esiti, 51), Laidouni - Tokmac, Zachariassen (Marquinhos, 62), Traoré - Boli (Bassey, 62).
Head coach: Stanislav Cherchesov
Yellow cards: Vécsei (33rd), Boli (38th), Laidouni (71st), resp. Jovancic (32nd), Kairov (38th)

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