England defeated Hungary 1-1 in a match marred by crowd violence, with the scoreline being 1:1
- Summary of the following
- England and Hungary struggle to break down the snobby Hungarians.
- England three points clear at the top of the group with two games to play.
- Game marred by fights between visiting fans and police.
England took another, somewhat shaky, step towards 2022 World Cup qualification when they drew 1-1 with Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday and are now three points clear of Hungary with two games remaining.
The match was marred by fighting in the stands between Hungary fans and baton-wielding police shortly after kickoff, with riot police entering the fray as visiting supporters forced stewards and police back down a tunnel. read more The game was halted after Hungary supporters and armed police clashed in front of the crowd, but the game went ahead as dozens of Hungary players and their batones were recovered.
After England's Luke Shaw caught a stooping Loci Nego in the head as he attempted , the visitors scored obliviously with 2-1 victory with an Roland Sallai penalty in 24th minute.
England equalised after 37 minutes when a Phil Foden free kick was flicked on by Tyrone Mings and the ball was turned in by John Stones from close range.
Harry Kane mishit when well placed in front of goal after an hour, his last contribution before being replaced by Tammy Abraham for the last 15 minutes.
As Gareth Southgate's attempt to unite Foden, Jack Grealish, and Mason Mount in a miniature midfield proved largely unsuccessful, the move, along with other changes, failed to change the game England'd way.
Southgate was quick to praise his own side, while also acknowledging his country's shortcomings. Hungary were certainly more energetic and looked more motivated than when they were beaten 4-0 by England in Budapest last month.
"Hungary, you're a credit to them. I thought they posed us a tactical problem. We werent fluid and I didn t think we played at the level we need to play," he added.
"Well go away and think about the teams balance a little bit, but I think we can do better individually." We made lots of simple errors with the ball. Collectively, we didn't play at the level we needed to.
"I think we were unfocused with our play right from the beginning, gave the ball away," he added. "Its the first time in a long time, but we have to hold our hands up."
The result leaves England top of the group on 20 points ahead of Poland, who beat Albania (15 points) 1-0 away in a match stifled by crowd disturbance. read more
England, Euro 2020 runners-up, are still strong favourites to win the group through their remaining games against Albania and San Marino next month, but they've left themselves with work to do.
Hungary, in fourth place on 11 points, needs a miracle to get second place and securing. playoff berth.
At the end of the game, their entire squad and staff formed a centre circle huddle, then sang their national anthem in front of their fans in synchronized performance as if they had won the World Cup, showing their better side after the agonizing events two hours earlier.
By then, most of England's players and nearly 70,000 home supporters had already left, but while few will remember the match, it may prove more useful in Southgate'' 'World Cup preparations than if it had been a routine victory.