Hungary’s national football coach Bernd Storck narrowly avoided the sack Thursday after the local federation decided to keep him on despite a shock defeat against minnows Andorra last week, widely seen as the Hungary’ worst ever result.
“We are giving Bernd Storck another chance” said Sándor Csányi head of the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) in a statement after a marathon board meeting also attended by the German on Thursday afternoon.
Last Friday’s 1-0 away loss to Andorra – ranked 186 in the world – ended Hungary’s chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup tournament in Russia. Pundits and fans at home rated the result as more embarrassing than a 2-1 loss to Malta in 2004, and 7-1 and 8-1 defeats to Yugoslavia and the Netherlands in 1997 and 2013 respectively.
A year ago Bernd Storck steered the Hungarian team to Euro 2016 in France, their first qualification for a major tournament since the 1986 World Cup. They even won their Euro 2016 group ahead of eventual tournament winners Portugal. Since then, however, Hungary has slumped to a string of defeats and also failed to beat another minnow the Faroe Islands. Bernd Storck’s men could not find a net in the last four games.
The German football coach was appointed in 2015 to overhaul Hungary’s youth structures, and took over from national team caretaker coach Pál Dárdai later that year. Previously a head coach with Kazakhstan, he is Hungary’s second German coach after Lothar Matthaeus between 2004 and 2006.