Hungary Snatch Stoppage-Time Victory Against Scotland

  • 24 Jun 2024 12:48 PM
Hungary Snatch Stoppage-Time Victory Against Scotland
Scotland dominated possession but Hungary were more threatening in front of goal and finally got their just rewards when Kevin Csoboth superbly finished off a last-minute counter-attack to earn all three points and 3rd place in Group A of Euro 2024.

Marco Rossi's squad now face an anxious wait to see if they'll finish as one of the four best 3rd-placed countries which will progress to the round of 16.

Hungary head coach Marco Rossi opted to make two changes to the lineup which lost to Germany last Wednesday, Endre Botka and Callum Styles replacing Attila Szalai and Ádám Nagy respectively.

That meant goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi continued behind a three-man rearguard of Márton Dárdai, Willi Orbán and Endre Botka who backed up a four-man midfield of, from right to left, Bendegúz Bolla, Callum Styles, András Schäfer and Milos Kerkez. Hungary's three attackers were once again playmakers Roland Sallai and captain Dominik Szoboszlai behind centre forward Barnabás Varga.

This hotly-anticipated clash between two teams who both needed to take all three points to stand a realistic chance of progressing to the knockout stage was keenly contested in the first half, but low on real quality overall.

Bolla tried his luck with a low, 25-metre drive which was dealt with well by Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Willi Orbán's close-range header from Szoboszlai's cute free-kick struck the crossbar, albeit it may have been subject to a VAR check for offside if it had gone in the goal.

The second half started in the same pattern, Hungary attacking with more verve and Sallai was unlucky early on to see his shot on the turn deflected into the arms of a grateful Gunn.

Scotland had their first shot of the match as late as the 53rd minute courtesy of Che Adams' wild slash over the bar from distance and soon after, John McGinn's penetrative run down the right wing gave the Aston Villa midfielder the chance to pass to Scott McTominay, but an organised Hungary defence did well to snuff out the danger.

Callum Styles had done well on his first Euro 2024 appearance but he was replaced by the fresh legs of Ádám Nagy on the hour mark.

Hungary had enjoyed less of the possession overall but had been far more threatening in front of goal and that trend continued when Dárdai headed Bolla's cross narrowly over Gunn's crossbar.

Just a few minutes later, another swirling Szoboszlai cross from a free-kick resulted in a collision between Varga and a Scotland player, which eventually saw the Hungarian striker stretchered off after a long delay.

A last-ditch challenge by Orbán denied substitute Stuart Armstrong a sight of goal and otherwise, all the opportunities fell Hungary's way, Sallai, Szoboszlai and Zsolt Nagy all going close to seizing the lead before another substitute, Kevin Csoboth, rattled a Scotland post in added time with a low shot from a tight angle.

Gulácsi made a fabulous save to deny Grant Hanley as the game suddenly came incredibly stretched, but the game's defining moment was still to come.

From a Scotland corner, Hungary latched onto the ball and broke at speed, Csoboth spreading the ball wide to Sallai who did tremendously well to cut the ball back to the arriving Csoboth who dispatched the ball low, first-time into the bottom left-corner of the net to spark wild Hungarian celebrations.

2024 European Championship In Germany
Group A, Matchday 3

Scotland 0–1 Hungary (HT: 0–0)
Stuttgart, Stuttgart Aréna 54 000 spectators. Ref: Facundo Tello (Gabriel Chade, Ezequiel Brailovsky) ARG

Scotland: Gunn – Ralston (McLean, 83), Hendry, Hanley, McKenna, Robertson (Morgan, 89) – McGinn (Amstrong, 76), Gilmour (Christie, 83), McGregor, McTominay – Ché Adams (Shankland, 76). Head coach: Steve Clarke

Hungary: Gulácsi – Botka, Orbán, Dárdai (Szalai, 74) – Bolla (Csoboth, 86), Schäfer, Styles (Nagy Ádám, 61), Kerkez (Nagy Zsolt, 86) – Szoboszlai, Varga (Ádám, 74), Sallai. Head coach: Marco Rossi

Goalscorer: Csoboth (90+10)

Yellow cards: Styles (18), Orbán (26), Schäfer (44), McTominay (50), Kleinheisler (75, as a non-playing substitute), Csoboth (90+11)

Rossi: We deserved to win based on chances created

Hungary emerged victorious from their final group match against Scotland with a goal scored in the 100th minute and finished in third place in Group A with three points.

After the match, head coach Marco Rossi stated that luck was finally on the team's side in this match and he dedicated the success to Hungary fans who'd travelled to Stuttgart.

"Scotland had more possession of the ball, especially in the first half, but it was an even match in the second," Rossi opined after the match. "After the 70th minute, there was a lot of rushing on the pitch, but we had more chances, so I feel we deserved the victory.

I'm happy we have our first victory in the tournament, mainly because of the thousands of fans in the stadium who travelled back and forth to the games, so we dedicate this success to them. I'd have been very disappointed if we'd returned home without any points, so it'd be quite different now to go home even if we don't manage to advance from this group.

We had three matches in the group and I can only really bring up the first half against Switzerland when we played really badly. Against Germany, we played as well as we could, but were unlucky in several situations, but defeat is always a bigger possibiity against the hosts. Today, luck finally smiled on us, so we hope that this is a good sign and that it won't turn away from us

In response to a journalist's question, Rossi stated that Dominik Szoboszlai hadn't been fully fit before the match and hadn't been able train since the Germany match due to muscle problems.

"Szoboszlai has undergone a series of treatments which made it possible for him to play today, but without him the Hungarian national team would be very different. I wanted to take him off in the last few minutes because he was tired, but I left him on, because he can always decide a match.

However, Csoboth was the man to win it this time and he performed just as I wanted him to. He made good runs, shot against the post, scored a goal and overall had a huge impact on the game

Barnabás Varga's injury was of course also discussed at the press conference: "Barni was not himself after the collision and everyone was very worried about him. Fortunately, he's fine now and that's the most important thing, but he's broken his cheekbone, so he won't be able to help the team any further at this European Championship if we progress to the round of 16."


We've never played Scotland in a competitive match

Sunday's vital Scotland vs Hungary European Championship match in Stuttgart will be the first time the two teams have met each other in a competitive match.

Scotland and Hungary met for the first time in December 1938 in a friendly match in Glasgow, the same year as our first journey all the way to a World Cup final. In fact, this was our first match after the World Cup final and was won by Scotland 3-1.

The second clash between the two nations took place in the year of our team's second World Cup silver medal, 1954, (also in December, also in Glasgow), but this time Hungary, led by captain Ferenc Puskás won 4-2.

Up until now, the two national teams have only met in friendly matches and only in Glasgow or Budapest, a total of nine times in the 86 years since the first match against each other 86 years ago.

The statistics show a slight Hungarian superiority, our match record being 4 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats, with a goal ratio of 18-14.

Of our 18 goals, Nándor Hidegkuti, Károly Sándor, Sándor Kocsis, Máté Fenyvesi, András Törőcsik and Szabolcs Huszti have scored two each.

The last time the two teams met, in 2018 in Budapest, Scotland won 1-0, and of that squad six years ago, Péter Gulácsi, László Kleinheisler and Attila Fiola are still in the current group for Euro 2024.

Ádám Nagy: We believe we can beat Scotland


The day after the 2-0 defeat to hosts Germany at Euro 2024, Hungary's coaching staff placed emphasis mainly on regeneration, while in the afternoon, Ádám Nagy and Zsolt Nagy were guests at the team's media centre in Weiler.

Hungary's second Euro 2024 Group A fixture ended in a 2-0 defeat in Stuttgart against hosts Germany in Stuttgart on Wednesday, meaning that after two rounds they are bottom and still without a point.

Their third and final group match will be against Scotland on Sunday, a win being their only chance of reaching the round of 16.

The day after the match against Germany, the members of the starting lineup worked according to regeneration protocol, but those who were given fewer opportunities to play or didn't play at all took part in normal training at the training pitch in Weiler (all except Nego and Botond Balogh, who are still unable to train due to injury).

At the afternoon press conference, Ádám Nagy and Zsolt Nagy emphasised that the group can take some confidence from the clash against Germany ahead of the last group match in which the team will certainly hold serious hopes of victory.

"Despite the defeat, we have no reason to be ashamed, because we did what we could on the pitch. Now, we're more frustrated with the refereeing, because it greatly influenced the final result," explained Ádám Nagy, who has spent the most time on the pitch of any Hungarian player in European Championship history.

"We went out onto the pitch with a good mentality, we were more tactically composed and what have been the team strengths in recent years returned to our game; we defended in an organised way and on regaining possession we tried to break on the opponent quickly.

The tactics against Germany were fine, but there is a difference in quality between the two teams. However, in a game like this, we're capable of squeezing them and, with a little luck, we could beat a national team which is stronger than us. The task now though is to win against Scotland and after that we can hope that the football gods will help us and we can go through despite these two defeats.

We're in a difficult situation, because it may not be enough just to beat the Scots, but we believe we can win the game on Sunday. We have to prepare for a physically strong opponent, it will be important to close down areas and not give the opponent a chance to score. I'm sure we'll have chances, as we have in previous matches too. In the meantime, we need to refresh our minds and take the positive things with us into the last group match

Ádám's namesake (but no relation) Zsolt Nagy didn't play in the first match, but did come on as a substitute against Germany.

The Puskás Akadémia player said he's happy to be a part of the European Championship and has already been given the opportunity to play at the tournament, so he'll do everything he can in training to ensure that the coaching staff will see him as a starter in the final group match.

"Before the Germany match, we talked to each other about the need to change our attitude and return to the national team's previous strengths. This was successful and the difference between the two matches was huge in this respect. The most important thing is to be able to leave the pitch with our heads held high after each match, in the knowledge that we've done everything we can.

Unfortunately, we couldn't say that about ourselves after the match against Switzerland, but we could after the match against Germany. We've played three of the four halves played quite well, but unfortunately this doesn't show through in the results so far,
" Zsolt Nagy concluded.


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