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What a Game: National Team Qualifies for the European Championship

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.11.17.

The Hungarian national football team qualified for next year’s European Championship in Germany after a 2-2 draw with Bulgaria in a closed-goal qualifier in Sofia on Thursday.

National team captain Marco Rossi’s side took the lead in the 10th minute through Ádám Martin’s header, but the home side unexpectedly equalized through Spas Delev. The Bulgarians went into the break a man down after Valentin Antov was sent off. Kerkez Milos was also given a red card in the second half, and Kiril Despodov’s 11th goal gave the Bulgarians the lead, but Alex Petkov’s own goal equalized the match.

With the draw, the unbeaten Hungarian side extended their lead over third-placed Montenegro to seven points, but their group status is not yet decided, as the Serbs are only two points behind.

As previously reported, there was complete chaos surrounding the organization of the match. Until Tuesday, it was unclear where the match would take place, or if it would take place at all. In the end, it was decided to stick to the original plan and hold the event in Sofia in a basically empty stadium. As the teams warmed up on the pitch 30 minutes before kick-off, police outside the venue used water cannons to disperse protesting Bulgarian fans, and the music blaring from loudspeakers was drowned out in places by the sound of sirens blaring in the empty Vasil Levski National Stadium.

From the very first moment, it was clear that the Hungarian team wanted to put the question of qualification to bed as soon as possible. After the final whistle, the national team celebrated in the starting area, wearing T-shirts with a picture of the team, and then sang the national anthem with the fans who had paid their respects.

Photo via Facebook/MLSZ – Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség

The group draw for the European Championship will be held in Hamburg on December 2.

Captain Dominik Szoboszlai said after the clash that it is better not to talk about the qualifying match against the Bulgarians, but he is happy that the Hungarian national football team qualified for next summer’s tournament in Germany. “I am proud of the team for fighting all the way, but we made this game difficult for ourselves,” noted Szoboszlai, stressing that they earned the right to participate regardless of the result of the last match. “I hope at least everyone was excited. I am proud of the guys, I always trust them 120 percent,” concluded the Liverpool midfielder.

“Yes, it is always the last step that is the hardest to take,” head coach Rossi emphasized.

There is too much stress and tension, everyone is nervous. But in the end we did an amazing thing, we got out with one lap to go. For the third time in a row, we have qualified for the European Championship. When I took charge of the national team, I never thought we would make it twice in a row, and this time straight out of the group. “

“We prepare the same way for every game, and it will be no different this time against Montenegro. (…) Of course we want to enjoy the game, but at the same time we want to show that we deserved to qualify for the European Championship,” stressed Rossi.

The Hungarians will host Montenegro at Puskás Arena on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in the final round of the qualifying group, and with a point they will secure their first place in the group.

Match Against Bulgaria to Be Held Behind Closed Doors
Match Against Bulgaria to Be Held Behind Closed Doors

The match will be held in Plovdiv instead of Sofia.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image via Facebook/MLSZ – Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség

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