BUDAPEST — A second-half penalty from Dominik Szoboszlai earned Hungary a shock 1-0 win over England in the Nations League on Saturday — their first victory against Gareth Southgate’s side in 60 years.
Looking to get their preparations for the Qatar World Cup, which begins later this year, up and running, England were surprisingly second best from the off in Budapest, and were fortunate to go into the break all square.
The hosts kept coming and made their pressure count as Szoboszlai converted from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after Zsolt Nagy was fouled by Chelsea defender Reece James — a decision which incensed the England players.
England pressed as they looked for a leveler, but they could not create that killer chance as their Nations League campaign got off to a disappointing start.
The tests keep coming with Germany England’s next League A, Group Three opponents on Tuesday, while Hungary will look to make it five wins in six when they face European champion Italy.
“We’ve got a massive game coming up on Tuesday,” England defender Conor Coady told Channel 4. “We need to look at this performance and learn from it very quickly.
“I thought we started off quite well. We need to tidy up and bounce back. We need to look at how we performed and how we move forward because these are big games for us.”
Hungary were forced to host England “behind closed doors” after being disciplined by both FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for repeated racist behaviour from their fans, but the Hungarian FA said last month that children could attend the match at the Puskas Arena.
Under Article 73 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations, children up to the age of 14 from schools and/or football academies can be invited to a ‘behind closed doors’ match free of charge, provided they are accompanied by an adult, meaning the stadium could be half full, mostly with children.
Some of those in attendance chose to boo the England…
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