Hungary’s national football team, topping its group, defeated Serbia 2-1 in a European Championship qualifier on Saturday and can qualify for next year’s continental tournament in Germany if the team picks up three points in Lithuania on Tuesday.
Marco Rossi’s side took the lead after 21 minutes through Barnabás Varga’s goal before Strahinja Pavlović equalized for the visitors with a 33rd-minute header. However, they could not enjoy it for long, as Roland Sallai put the hosts back in the lead a minute later with a bomb goal. In the second half, the entertaining football continued, but without goals.
Hungary is now three points ahead of second-placed Serbia and five points ahead of third-placed Montenegro in Group G.
In the front row: Attila Fiola, Callum Styles, Ádám Nagy, Roland Sallai and Milos Kerkez. In the second row: Dénes Dibusz, Ádám Lang, Loic Nego, Attila Szalai, Barnabás Varga, and Dominik Szoboszlai. Photo via MTI/Czeglédi Zsolt
National team coach Marco Rossi is not celebrating after Saturday’s victory, as the Hungarian national team still needs two points to achieve its goal of qualifying for the European Championship. He explained that
it is not a big secret that the national team usually wins the hard games, and that he has a team that fights with heart, a result of great humility.
“Humility comes from the players on the pitch and from the players on the bench. I said to the president of the Hungarian Football Federation, Sándor Csányi, that I aged two years today because we suffered a lot in this match. The opponent had a physical advantage and proved to be strong in certain positions,” said the Italian coach, who described the Serbian team as the technically and tactically strongest in the group despite the two 2-1 defeats.
His colleague Dragan Stojković noted that the Serbian team was better than in the last match in September, but the result was still negative for them.
We did not deserve to lose, but I congratulate the Hungarian team,”
the Serbian head coach stressed. “Overall, the game looked good, but the Hungarian goalkeeper, Dénes Dibusz, played great. Even though the statistics show Serbian dominance, Hungary won. The guys gave their all,” emphasized the Serbian coach, adding that the fact that Hungary reacted to the equalizer within a minute was decisive.
Undefeated in nine matches, the Hungarian national team will go into Tuesday’s game in Kaunas, Lithuania, with a chance of securing their place in a third consecutive European Championship and qualifying directly for a world tournament for the first time since the 1986 World Cup.