Hungary completed their UEFA Euro 2016 warm-up schedule in Gelsenkirchen tonight by putting on a battling display but ultimately falling to hosts Germany courtesy of an own goal from Ádám Lang and a close-range finish from Thomas Müller.
It was nearly a nightmare start for the visitors when Julien Draxler had the ball in Hungary’s net after less than a minute but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position. Although Germany were dominating possession only a tight offside call just inside the German half stopped Ádám Szalai or Ádám Pintér from getting clear in on goal as the game swung back and forth. Hungary captain Balázs Dzsudzsák was moving wide on the right at every opportunity and it was his left-footed cross that gave Pintér the chance to head at goal but he couldn’t quite get it on target.
Soon afterwards Müller drew a superb, sprawling, fingertip save from Király and Jerome Boateng crashed a header wide of Király’s left post from the resulting corner as Hungary battled to hold on when under attack. In the middle third of the pitch though, Hungary were growing into the game and it was Dzsudzsák who had Hungary’s first shot on target, his cut inside from the right preceding a drive from 20 metres which Manuel Neuer spilled, but the Germany goalkeeper’s blushed were spared when the waiting Szalai was flagged offside.
Hungary went even closer in the 27th minute when a long corner kick from the right found Pintér arriving near the back post but his volley from a tight angle looped across goal and bounced agonisingly off the angle of post and bar and behind.
That piece of bad luck was compounded 12 minutes later when Germany took the lead via an unfortunate own goal from Ádám Lang, Özil feeding a suspiciously offside Hector on the left side of the penalty area who fired the ball low across goal towards Mario Götze but Lang’s trailing leg took the impact of the ball and left Király with no chance as the flew into the net.
If that evened up the offside decisions when we remember the disallowed goal in the first minute, the next major decision in the game certainly tilted things in the hosts’ favour, Mario Gomez being half a metre ahead of play in the 63rd minute but being adjudged onside as a cross came into him to head on goal. Király made another excellent save but the rebound was swept into the net by the pouncing Thomas Müller to give Joachim Löw’s team a two-goal cushion. This second goal had come ten minutes after László Kleinheisler had been unlucky to see his goalbound 22-metre strike inadvertently diverted to safety by the back of Szalai.
Tamás Priskin came on for Szalai and Barnabás Bese made his international debut as Bernd Storck gave match time to several others in his 23-man squad. Although Hungary weren’t firing on all cylinders they were still looking to threaten when possible, substitute Zoltán Gera finding space 25 metres from goal but striking the ball well over the crossbar. In truth though, Hungary’s efforts had left them with little left in the tank to threaten Neuer’s goal towards the end and so FIFA World Cup holders Germany deserved their 2-0 victory.
Germany 2-0 Hungary (1-0)
Germany: Neuer – Höwedes, J. Boateng, Rüdiger, Hector (Emre Can, 46.) – Khedira (Mario Gomez, 46.), Kroos (Sané, 68.) – Götze (Podolski, 79.), Draxler (Schürrle, 59.), Özil – Müller (Schweinsteiger, 68.)
Hungary: Király Gábor – Fiola Attila (Bese Barnabás, 82.), Guzmics Richárd, Lang Ádám, Kádár Tamás – Nagy Ádám, Pintér Ádám (Gera Zoltán, 59.) – Dzsudzsák Balázs, Kleinheisler László (Stieber Zoltán, 82.), Lovrencsics Gergő – Szalai Ádám (Priskin Tamás, 64.)
Goalscorers: Lang (own goal) 39′, Müller 63′
Bernd Storck, the German head coach of the Hungarian national team said he felt the warm-up match against Germany was a useful experience for his side.“I’m not dissatisfied with our performance; we defended well and prevented our opponents from creating too many chances. We also tried to attack; we had opportunities and we should have made the most of them. We played with bravery and this is something that will be important against Austria. We strove to keep possession and I have to say that in this area of our game we have advanced, we held our own against very strong opponents. The match was mentally and physically draining. Next week will consist of fine-tuning, and will be strictly aimed at the match against Austria”.
Germany head coach Joachim Löw, meanwhile, was happy with the win. “It’s always good to leave the pitch having won, but it could also be seen that we have much work ahead of us. We lacked sharpness and we’ll be addressing this. The Hungarian team made a good impression on me; many of their players stood out. They played with bravery; they tried to disrupt our game and vary the rhythm, albeit tactically they concentrated mainly on defending. It won’t be easy for the Hungarians against Austria or Iceland, but it will be a great experience for them to appear at a European Championship” said Löw.
The Hungary squad now turn their attentions to Tuesday’s journey to France and in particular their first UEFA Euro 2016 group match against neighbours Austria on Monday 14th June in Bordeaux.