Serbia led three times in a friendly at Telki but Erika Szuh’s late winner ensured that Hungary celebrated victory in their final match of the 2016.
Head coach Edina Markó had spoken of Serbia not being a team to take lightly and her words seemed almost prophetic as Serbia scored from their very first attack, Marija Radojičić finding herself clean in on goal before firing past an exposed Barbara Bíró with only 25 seconds on the clock. Hungary were sparked into action by the goal as Serbia were forced to defend deep for most of the half, the hosts attacking trio of Jakabfi, Zeller and Vágó causing the visitors numerous problems although often the final ball lacked quality. Hungary would manage to break down the resilient Serbian rearguard four minutes before half time however, Jakabfi receiving the ball at the edge of the box and firing home from sixteen yards into the top corner.
Serbia made three changes at the break, whilst Edina Markó made two, Réka Demeter replacing Szilvia Szeitl and Zsófia Rácz coming on for Alexandra Szarvas. Serbia began on the front foot, and although it didn’t take long for Hungary to find their rhythm the visitors shocked them by taking the lead for a second time as Marija Radojičić nodded home following a corner. Hungary, determined, made it 2-2 in the 71st minute with Fanny Vágó playing a wonderful through-ball for Zsanett Jakabfi to run onto before outpacing her opponent and firing low into the corner.
The home defence was proving vulnerable to balls from deep however; Serbia almost scoring moments after Jakabfi’s goal but Barbara Bíró denying them with a fine save. Even Bíró was helpless though, when Jelena Cubrilo ran through on goal to put the Serbs 3-2 up with quarter of an hour left to go. Hungary rallied though, equalising for a third time in the 79th, Jakabfi turning her marker on the right before making for the by-line and cutting the ball back for the arriving Zsófia Rácz to hit home. With Hungary pushing for a winner, both Demeter and Evelin Fenyvesi missed chances before Erika Szuh lashed the ball high into the net from close range in the 89th minute to secure victory.
“It seems we weren’t as well mentally prepared as we would have hoped, falling behind almost straight away” said Edina Markó after the match. “Afterwards we played as we planned; we dominated, created chances, and deservedly equalised before the break. We made a number of changes during the second half and the periods in the second half when weren’t as good can be partly attributed to that. We made a number of mistakes which the Serbs took advantage of but I’m happy with our attacking play; in the last fifteen minutes I was quietly confident that we’d win the match”.
Hungary: Barbara Bíró – Evelin Mosdóczi (Anita Pinczi, 71’), Szabina Tálosi, Szilvia Szeitl (Réka Demeter, 46’), Gabriella Tóth (Dóra Papp, 71’) – Henrietta Csiszár, Evelin Fenyvesi – Alexandra Szarvas (Zsófia Rácz, 46’), Fanni Vágó (Ágnes Nagy, 80’), Dóra Zeller (Erika Szuh, 80’) – Zsanett Jakabfi
Source: MLSZ – press release