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National Football Team Tops Its Group in European Qualifiers

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.06.21.

The Hungarian national football team scored a two-goal victory over Lithuania in a European Championship qualifying match at Puskás Arena on Tuesday. Marco Rossi’s team topped their group with a better goal difference thanks to the easy win, as the previously top-ranked Serbs drew with Bulgaria in their match.

The Hungarians took the lead in the 32nd minute through Barnabás Varga’s first goal for the national team, with Roland Sallai’s huge goal in the 83rd minute setting up the final score. The national team did not allow a goal in their fourth match in a row.

The Hungarian national team will next face rivals Serbia in Belgrade on September 7 as part of the European Championship qualifiers.

The home fans welcomed their favorites with a veritable procession of flags and the message “every match day: a holiday!” on a national-color banner in the stadium. The national team’s players, accordingly, did not want to spoil the day and took the initiative from the first minute, waiting just eight minutes for the first dangerous situation.

As time went on, the momentum continued, leading to a result after just over half an hour of play with Barnabás Varga’s score. Team captain Dominik Szoboszlai almost doubled the lead before the break, but his 25-yard free-kick into the top right corner was eventually flicked on to the crossbar.

In the second half the Hungarians continued to dominate but were less dangerous than before.

As usual, the team stood before the fans at the end of the match, and sang the national anthem together. Photo: MTI/Vasvári Tamás

The minimal lead was not reassuring, but the Lithuanians barely crossed the half-court for long spells, so there was no cause for concern in terms of the game’s complexion. Although there was a lot more Lithuanian action in the second half, the visitors ended the match with just one attempt on goal, so there was no danger of victory. The match was then finally sealed by Sallai’s goal.

Hungarian national football team captain Dominik Szoboszlai said after the match that everyone should be satisfied.

“On our home pitch, in front of our fans, with fresh faces, I think we played in a way that everyone can be satisfied. We talked about not rushing even if the goal does not come. In the end we managed to take the lead, I congratulate Barnabás Varga,” said the RB Leipzig player after the match at Puskás Arena.

National Football Team on a Paved Road to European Championship
National Football Team on a Paved Road to European Championship

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was at the game, as he usually is when the national team plays in Budapest.

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó also went to the stadium to cheer for the Hungarian national football team. He recalled that there was much criticism around building Puskás Arena, questioning whether Hungary needs such a big stadium, considering the large cost. However, as the Minister noted, there was a full house again at the arena, like many times before, proving its success and popularity among Hungarians.

Featured photo via MTI/Vasvári Tamás

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