A goal at the end of each half from Zsanett Jakabfi propelled Hungary to an ultimately comfortable win over Croatia in their 2017 UEFA European Championship qualifier in Gyirmót yesterday and move Edina Markó’s team up to second spot in Group 5 behind leaders Germany.
Before the match Henrietta Csiszár and Erika Szuh were presented with awards from MLSZ’s head of women’s football Gábor Török and MLSZ General Secretary Sándor Berzi to commemorate the occasion of their 50th appearances for the full national team.
Both Hungary and Croatia had excellent chances to take the lead in the opening period, Rudelic volleying over from close range for the visitors and Bernadett Zágor missing an open goal when latching on to Jakabfi’s low, sliding cross from the right. The first half wouldn’t end goalless though, Jakabfi leaping highest in the 43rd minute to loop in a perfectly placed header from Alexandra Szarvas’s right-wing cross following a short corner routine with Fanni Vágó.
Understandably, Hungary were keen to settle the match with a crucial second goal but started to rely more on counter attacks as the second half wore on and Croatia started to commit numbers in attack. Opportunities to seal the victory came and went before Dóra Zeller dispossessed a Croatia defender in the 86th minute before passing to Jakabfi who swept the ball past the goalkeeper to confirm Hungary’s 2-0 win and their move up to second spot.
Finishing second in the group would be enough for a place in the play-offs which are contested by the runners-up of each of the eight qualifying groups. Hungary are now on seven points after five games, the same record as Croatia and three points ahead of Russia who have two games in hand. A crucial game now looms as Hungary travel to St Petersburg to play Russia on Tuesday 12th April.
Press release – MLSZ