Start of the League of Nations failed for the Three Lions. Opposed to Hungary on the first day of a very tough Group 3, England fell outside (1-0). Dominating but above all rough, Gareth Southgate’s men cracked on a penalty converted by Dominik Szoboszlai shortly after the hour mark (66th). They did not manage to reply then and let the Magyars take the lead of the group while waiting for the match between Italy and Germany (8:45 p.m.).
The English had however taken the meeting by the good end on the lawn of the Puskas Arena in this meeting which should have been played behind closed doors. The Hungarian organizers had however found a solution to UEFA’s sanctions by inviting 30,000 children and their accompanying adults. The young supporters made noise and encouraged their proteges to resist against hard-hitting visitors like Harry Kane (4th) or novice Jarrod Bowen (11th).
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However, the vice-champions of Europe did not really manage to worry the opposing goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi. His counterpart Jordan Pickford had more work to do as the few Hungarian counterattacks all proved to be very dangerous. Szoboszlai lost a first face-to-face (12th). Nagy forced the English goalkeeper to deflect his powerful shot (29th). Adam Szalai’s distant lob finished just wide (33rd) and Loïc Nego’s crosses put Harry Maguire, Conor Coady or Kyle Walker in difficulty.
James Justin, who was also celebrating his first selection with England, had to leave at the break and his replacement, Bukayo Saka, appeared against Gulácsi who blocked his low shot (51st). The Arsenal player however completely disappeared afterwards in a match which fell into a false rhythm due to an English release.
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Launched on the hour mark, the other entrants John Stones, Jack Grealish and Reece James did not shine either. The last missed his first defensive intervention by putting his arm in Nagy’s face and conceded a somewhat severe penalty but which Szoboszlai transformed (1-0, 66th).
Bowen and his then shook themselves back to the mark. But the small uncrossed head of Coady only flirted with the target (77th). Hungary almost made the break against but Schäfer missed his recovery against Pickford who had just repelled an attempt by Kleinheisler (82nd).
Corrected 0-4 by the English on this same lawn last September in qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar which they will not play, the Magyars of the Italian Marco Rossi take a little revenge and offer themselves a prestigious success. The first on England since 1962.
Dominik Szoboszlai scores from the penalty spot in the Hungary-England match (1-0)
Credit: Getty Images
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