Hungary Hold World Cup Champions France to Heroic Draw

Heroic display from Hungary at the Puskas Arena saw the hosts hold reigning World Cup champions France to a 1-1 draw in an exciting Euro 2020 group stage fixture. Despite entering the Matchday 2 showdown as massive underdogs, the Hungarians managed to hold their ground against an all-star team on Saturday afternoon.

France unsurprisingly had most of the possession but failed to create enough scoring chances to trouble RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi. Hungary opted to drop deep and let Didier Deschamps control the tempo, allowing Les Bleus to spend most of the game in their half without threatening their keeper on enough occasions.

Paris Saint-Germain quicksilver forward Kylian Mbappe’ wasted the first chance of the match. He met the cross after being left alone in the 18-yard box but misdirected the header. The 22-year-old nearly set up Karim Benzema for the Real Madrid star’s first international goal in six years, but the experienced striker failed to hit the target from point-blank range.

After squandering a couple of chances, the Euro 2016 runners-up were punished through Attila Fiola, who escaped Benjamin Pavard to put Hungary in front on the stroke of half-time.

Although France drew one back in the 66th minute through Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann, they struggled to complete a turnaround. France came closest to putting their second on the board in the 82nd minute, but Mbappe’s powerful left-footed attempt was thwarted by Gulacsi’s strong hands.

The last opportunity of the game was seen in the 95th minute, but Raphael Varane sent the ball well wide after raising above his marker to connect with Thomas Lemar’s cross.

Despite a disturbing result in Budapest, Les Bleus remain confident of advancing to the tournament knock-outs following a narrow 1-0 win over Germany on Matchday 1.

On the other hand, the Hungarians’ hopes of making it out of the group stage for the second European Championship running have derailed as they head into the group stage finale with a single point. France will take on Portugal in four-day time at the Puskas Arena, while Hungary will play Germany at the Allianz Arena on the same day.  



June 19, 2021 – European Championship 2020 Group A

SCORERS: 47′ Fiola (H), 67′ Griezmann (F)

HUNGARY (3-5-2): Gulacsi; Botka, Orban, At. Szalai, Négo, Kleinheisler (84′ Lovrencsics), Nagy, Schäfer (75′ Cseri), Fiola; Sallai, Ad. Szalai (26′ Nikolics) (Dibusz, Bodgan, Lang, Kecskés, Holender, R. Varga, Sigér, K. Varga, Schon) Coach: Rossi
FRANCE (4-3-3): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Digne; Pogba (75′ Tolisso), Kanté, Rabiot (57′ Dembele, 87′ Lemar)); Griezmann, Benzema (76′ Giroud), Mbappé (Mandanda, Maignan, Lenglet, Sissoko, Hernandez, Dubois, Koundé, Thuram) Coach: Deschamps

REFEREE: Oliver (England)
NOTES: Yellow Card: Botka (H), Pavard (F)