MŠK Žilina – Match Report vs FK Dukla Banksá Bystrica (17/03/2023)

After last weekend’s shock win against current champions Slovan Bratislava, this young and unique side came up against an FC Dukla Banksá Bystrica side in a matchup that, on paper, was more of an even contest. The Žilina side, known for their ability to produce Slovakia’s next superstars, came into the game with an average age of their Starting XI of exactly 21. Their opponents FK Dukla, a much older 25.7. This 10 goal thriller ended 6-4 to Žilina, and was 90 minutes of end to end action, with both sets of attacks thoroughly outshining their opposition defence.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Adrián Kaprálik

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Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Slovakian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 10/06/2002
  • Club: MŠK Žilina
  • Career: MŠK Žilina
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

There was an air of arrogance surrounding this young winger from the second he walked on to the pitch. Whilst off the ball, he strolled about as if he owned the place, and when on it, he showed those in the stands why. Kaprálik is an electric winger, with a keen eye for goal. Unlike the typical modern winger, he is extremely direct, and his impressive pace allows him the opportunity to stroll by players with the drop of a shoulder. He showed this with an excellent solo goal in which he picked up a lost ball in the midst of a Dukla attack, drove up the pitch leaving the opposing full back in his dust, and then fired a powerful strike into the near top corner.

This wasn’t the only major contribution that Kaprálik provided. He managed to knock up another goal and a further two assists. A hopeful long ball found Kaprálik with only a flat footed defender to beat, before firing home a powerful left footed near post strike. An intelligent move off the shoulder of the centre back and into the space between him and the right back led to a through ball finding him, and he only needed a single touch before squaring it to the striker for an easy tap in. His last assist required good strength to hold off the centre back, before kneeing an awkwardly bouncing ball into the path of the oncoming Jambor.

There were only a couple things wrong with his performance tonight. At times he looked uncomfortable going up for a header with an opponent, almost challenging out of necessity instead of the expectancy to win the ball. There were questions about his attitude. He preferred to work off the ball in situations where he might get a chance to break with the ball, instead of with the intent to help his team. He also mostly chose the harder option, even when the easy option was the correct choice. This was summed up with an ambitious shot in the closing minutes whilst Žilina were narrowly holding onto the lead.

Rating – A2

I had a lot of fun watching Kaprálik tonight. The excitement he brings to a game is the reason why he’s one of the hot prospects in Slovak football. There is quite clearly a player in there, but one that at 20 years of age, has a lot of maturing to do. 


Timotej Jambor

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Slovakian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 04/04/2003
  • Club: MŠK Žilina
  • Career: MŠK Žilina
  • Position: Center Forward
  • Preferred foot: Right

I came into this match expecting a Kaprálik masterclass, of which I got, but it was Mr Jambor that impressed me the most. As the focal point of the attack, you could expect the 19 year old to struggle with the physicality of top division football. In reality, the young striker played with the experience of a seasoned pro. He got stuck in, worked hard, and never shied away from a physical battle.

His technique was effortless. Whether it was a simple lay off with his back to goal, a chop at the edge of the box to create space for a shot, or taking the ball down from a long drive up the pitch. On two separate occasions he stung the goalkeepers hands with shots from long distances. Both attempts lacked placement, but even though the ball was directly at the keeper, he did not look comfortable saving it due to the sheer power behind the shot. He went for placement with his goal though, receiving the lay off from Kaprálik before driving in on goal and placing it in the corner.

Jambors decision making is what impressed me the most. He was constantly scanning the pitch and adjusting his position accordingly. You could almost blindfold him before he received the ball and he’d still know where to pass it. He was always thinking ahead, and was ready to make the correct decision with the ball. He knew when and where to pass, when to turn, and when to find space for a shot. The one occasion he lacked composure was when he had the chance to take a shot in the box. He seemed to second guess himself, and by the time he went to take the shot, the opportunity had passed.

Rating – A2

At 19 years of age, I think Jambor has a great career ahead of him. The level of comfort he showed in this game makes me think that he wouldn’t be phased with a move to a higher level. I’d not be surprised if his first move is a big one, and if he is able to embrace the change then he could go far in the game.


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