Four goals in four appearances at the Amsterdam ArenA bodes well for Balázs Dzsudzsák, who is keen to take more “happy memories” from Hungary’s crucial qualifier today. Hungary fans dreaming of a first major finals since 1986 are feeling a mixture of anticipation and trepidation ahead of Friday’s Group D trip to the Netherlands.
Victory over the 2010 FIFA World Cup runners-up – who have already qualified for the 2014 edition – would put Hungary within striking distance of a first play-off place since defeat by Yugoslavia on the road to the 1998 World Cup. However, coach Sándor Egervári is without the likes of captain Zoltán Gera, István Kovács, Roland Júhász and Ádám Szalai through injury.
Therefore much will rest on Balázs Dzsudzsák, the left-winger now playing for FC Dinamo Moskva who spent three and a half seasons in the Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven, winning the Eredivisie title in 2008. The 26-year-old scored against the Oranje last September but Hungary were eventually beaten 4-1.
“I tried to move on after that defeat as we couldn’t let it affect our mood,” said Dzsudzsák. “Then we beat Estonia convincingly and this did wonders for us. We will not be favourites against Holland and everyone should be clear about that, but if we can leave the pitch as proud as we were when we took to it, there won’t be a problem. It is important that the supporters can see we gave everything.
“I’m very much looking forward to Friday’s match – I played four times at the Amsterdam ArenA with PSV and on all four occasions scored a goal, including one when we won the Super Cup against Feyenoord. Although not all my results here have been perfect, I generally have nice memories of this stadium and hope that will still be the case after Friday.”
The Magyars travel to Amsterdam in second position in Group D, one point above both Turkey and Romania. Should Hungary upset the odds on Friday, then they can confirm progress to the play-offs – regardless of results elsewhere – with a win against Andorra in Budapest on Tuesday.