Hungarian National Football: New Coach’s First Match Ends in Humiliating Defeat
Last Friday, the Hungarian National Football Team received Kazakhstan for an international friendly on the opening match of the season. The game ended with a 3-2 defeat, after the Kazakh team scored two goals in only 10 minutes.
Two early goals gave the visitors an unexpected advantage, but Hungary staged a partial recovery with the help of Ádám Szalai’s goal, and could have gone into half-time on level terms; this effort was thwarted, however, when Nemanja Nikolic failed to score, and the Kazakhs capitalized on a defensive lapse to score a third goal before the half-time break.
Krisztián Németh halved the deficit again halfway through the second period, but Leeken’s charges couldn’t find an equalizer. Despite plenty of attacking endeavor though, Leekens’ team couldn’t find their way through a packed Kazakh defence. This was the second time the two national teams met: in 2014, the Hungarian team won (3-0). The Kazakh team ended a 12-match-long streak as they have failed to win a match since June 2017. The Hungarian national team has not been able to end their own seven-year streak of not being able the win the first match of the year.
Some of the footballers commented on the match and the performance of the national team. In a bad mood after the match, Captain Balázs Dzsudzsák complained that
We wanted to create something lasting, but instead we just ran around. If you pour honey all over [excrement], it will still have the same flavor.
The football player added that he’s had to “constantly apologize” for his team’s recent performance, and that tomorrow’s match against Scotland would be “the last straw.”
Meanwhile, there will be an official national team match at the Pancho Arena, in Felcsút – but Hungary won’t participate in it. The Kazakh team will meet with Bulgaria’s national team for an international friendly at 6 pm tonight. The cause for the surprising choice of location may be that the national team of Kazakhstan is still in the country and their coach is Bulgarian – or, as some critics have speculated, the match’s location, in Prime Minister Orbán’s hometown, may have something to do with what the Guardian has described as the PM’s “reckless football obsession.”
The Hungarian national football team’s next match will be an international friendly against Scotland tomorrow, on 27 March, at the Groupama Arena.