A first-half penalty earned by Loic Nego and dispatched confidently by Roland Sallai put Hungary ahead against England in London and although John Stones levelled the scores before half-time, Marco Rossi’s team were well worth their point in the end.
Hungary head coach Rossi named a largely familiar lineup for his team’s second World Cup qualifier in just over three days, Péter Gulácsi in goal behind a back three of Attila Szalai, Ákos Kecskés – on his full debut – and Ádám Lang with Loic Nego at right wing-back and Zsolt Nagy on the left side. Ádám Nagy and András Schäfer screened the defence behind Dominik Szoboszlai in the playmaker role and Roland Sallai and Szabolcs Schön providing attacking thrust upfront.
Following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of England in Budapest
last month and a single-goal home loss to Albania on Saturday, Hungary’s World Cup qualification dreams were largely confined to mathematical possibnility only, but they didn’t let this affect them and instead put on a performance full of vim and vigour.
England left-back Luke Shaw’s high foot struck Nego in the face and handed Sallai the chance to score from the penalty spot in the 24th minute, an opportunity he took with aplomb by sending opposing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford the wrong way and confidently striking the ball low into the left side of the England goal.
A set-piece was the only way England could find a way back into the game, thus
the hosts equalised 13 minutes later when John Stones turned the ball at the far post after Tyrone Mings and Declan Rice had flicked on Phil Foden’s free-kick.
That was the way the scoreline stayed despite Stones sending a second-half header just wide, Gulácsi – again deputising as captain in the absence of the injured Ádám Szalai – denying Raheem Sterling one on one and for Hungary, substitute Filip Holender firing over the crossbar from inside the England penalty area.
Following this encouraging display of stoic defence and attacking verve,
Hungary will now look forward to their two remaining World Cup qualifiers next month, at home against San Marino and away against Poland.