England started their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Hungary in Budapest on Saturday.
A controversial penalty, converted by Dominik Szoboszlai, was enough to give the home side a first victory over the Three Lions for 60 years and extend their run in this competition to one loss in 10 games.
It also ended England’s record run of 22 matches without defeat (excluding the penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in the final of Euro 2020) as a tired-looking performance saw them start Group A3 in inauspicious fashion.
Gareth Southgate handed full debuts to James Justin and Jarrod Bowen at the Puskas Arena in front of a crowd of close to 40,000 spectators. School children and their chaperones were allowed to attend despite Hungary being hit with a stadium ban for racist behaviour on the part of fans during England’s last visit in World Cup qualifying in 2021. On Saturday, there was loud booing when visiting players took the knee before kickoff.
It was West Ham forward Bowen who looked liveliest for England in the first half, with one difficult volley testing Peter Gulacsi in the Hungary goal, but the hosts had threatened on the break and only some timely defending from Conor Coady prevented an opening goal from Szoboszlai, who had prodded the ball beyond Jordan Pickford.
It was a largely lifeless performance from the Euro 2020 finalists, even after the introductions of Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish. It was fellow substitute Reece James who had the telling impact, though — albeit one he hadn’t hoped for.
The Chelsea wing-back tried to nudge a long ball back to Pickford when under pressure from Zsolt Nagy, who fell to the floor after James put an arm on his shoulder. The referee did not hesitate to point to the spot despite few appeals from the Hungary players. Szoboszlai found the bottom-left corner in clinical fashion.
England had half-chances to equalise, with Coady glancing a header narrowly wide from a James free-kick and the quiet Harry Kane rippling the side-netting with a fierce snapshot, but Hungary were never under serious pressure and Andras Schafer missed an open goal to make it 2-0 after a Pickford save.
A weary England saw their threat diminish in injury time as Hungary eased to a first victory over the Three Lions since May 1962. Southgate will be hoping for big improvements when they face Germany on June 7.
5/11 - Five of Gareth Southgate’s 11 defeats as England manager have come in the UEFA Nations League (W5 D3 L5), more than he’s lost in any other competition in charge of the Three Lions. Onlooker. pic.twitter.com/dIqr1OA7ZD— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 4, 2022
Hungary vs. England score
Goals: (HUN) Dominik Szoboszlai - 66th min
Hungary vs. England commentary, highlights from UEFA Nations League
FULLTIME: Hungary beat England for the first time since 1962! Dominik Szoboszlai’s second-half penalty settles the contest in Budapest.
It’s a famous result for Hungary that puts them top of Nations League Group A3 (for now at least). England’s performance was tired and lacking in inspiration, and it ends their record unbeaten run of 22 matches.
95th minute: Hungary win a corner via Bowen and that should be that.
90+1 minutes: We’re into five minutes of additional time. Can Hungary hold on?
89th minute: So close from Kane! A one-two with Grealish in the box sees the ball bounce back the way of England’s captain. He smashes a first-time shot into the side-netting, with Gulacsi left standing and watching.
84th minute: Kane peels off his man but can only produce a tame chipped finish straight at Gulacsi. Replays suggest he might have been offside anyway. Time is running out for England, who have shown little quality today.
82nd minute: That should be game over! Pickford parries a shot from Kleinheisler right to the feet of Schafer, who volleys the rebound over! The offside flag stayed down and it looks like it would have counted. What a miss.
76th minute: Bowen runs onto Stones' pass into the right channel and draws a foul from Szalai. James' delivery is glanced towards the left-hand post by Coady, but it’s narrowly wide.
72nd minute: Bowen with the chance! Maguire plays a fine ball over the top of the Hungary defence to the West Ham forward, who hits a volley into the midriff of Gulacsi. It wasn’t a straightforward opportunity but it was one of the better openings England have created.
69th minute: That penalty decision will be debated long after the final whistle, but England had allowed this game to drift, so perhaps the goal will spark them into life.
65th minute: GOAL HUNGARY! Szoboszlai makes no mistake, drilling the ball into the bottom-left corner. Pickford guessed right but he wasn’t stopping that.
64th minute: PENALTY HUNGARY! James nudges a ball back to Pickford under pressure and seems to have hold of Nagy as he does so. The referee decides he had impeded the Hungary man and awards the spot-kick, much to the surprise of apparently everyone in the ground!
61st minute: Three changes for England as we reach the hour mark: Walker, Alexander-Arnold and Mount are off, and John Stones, Reece James and Jack Grealish enter the fray.
56th minute: Hungary have looked sharper early in this half but Mount wins a corner from a promising break. Kane played the ball to his left after good work from Bowen and Mount’s cut-back attempt was deflected behind. Bowen tries an ambitious half-volley after the corner is cleared, and it flies well over the bar.
51st minute: Saka’s injected a bit of life into this! A bold run down the left sees the Arsenal man drive into the box and draw a save from Gulacsi’s boot.
46th minute: We’re back underway. There’s a change for England: Bukayo Saka is on for James Justin, who had been struggling with that calf complaint.
HALFTIME: A minute of injury time is added, for some reason, but that’s the whistle. It’s not been a thrill-a-minute affair, certainly from an England standpoint — if anything, you’d say Hungary have been the better side, with a clear and effective counter-attacking plan. Still, it’s goalless at the break.
35th minute: Nego is causing problems down England’s left and his latest delivery has the visiting defence scrambling to cover until Pickford gathers the ball. Harry Maguire, apparently a bit bored, tries a surge up the other end and wins a corner for his side, but Alexander-Arnold sends another delivery over the box and out for a goal kick.
30th minute: Chance for Hungary! Bellingham loses the ball and Hungary look to spring that break behind Alexander-Arnold again. Nagy tries his luck from 25 yards out and Pickford parries it behind for a corner, which Kane heads away. Szoboszlai gets it back but he’s offside.
27th minute: Justin combines with Mount on the edge of the Hungary box but then signals he needs treatment — it looks like some discomfort with his calf muscle. A quick rub-down and a drinks break, and the Leicester man is back in the action.
23rd minute: Not a great deal of goalmouth action as we reach the midway point of the half. Coady’s having to do a bit of penalty-area clearing-up as Hungary are focusing most of their efforts on breaking down the wings and getting crosses in. England, meanwhile, need to get more out of Kane and Mount, who have hardly made an impact.
Searching for an opening goal in Budapest 👊— England (@England) June 4, 2022
Keep pushing, lads! pic.twitter.com/Qo1vXRB6sV
16th minute: Decent spell for Hungary, this. In the end, Nego’s deep cross towards Nagy almost pays off, but the left wing-back can’t quite get ahead of Alexander-Arnold and divert an effort on goal. At the other end, Bowen — who’s been bright for England — forces a corner. Coady nods it over the bar.
11th minute: CHANCES! Kane switches the ball to Alexander-Arnold and he picks out debutant Bowen with a cross from the right. It’s a tricky volley to execute while leaning back and Gulacsi saves. Hungary break, Nego plays a sensational throughball to Szoboszlai, but Coady hooks it off the line after the forward prodded beyond Pickford.
8th minute: Trent Alexander-Arnold, who’s starting as right wing-back today, takes a corner from the left and sends it all the way over the box and behind for a goal kick. Let’s call that a sighter.
3rd minute: First action for Jordan Pickford, who makes a comfortable save. England counter and Harry Kane tries his luck from inside the box, but it’s well wide.
KICKOFF: We’re off and running in Budapest. England players were booed by the crowd as they took the knee before the start — that was troubling, given the number of children in the stands.
10 mins until kickoff: We’re not far from getting underway here. Gareth Southgate is certainly keen to make the most of this fixture:
“We are preparing for a World Cup, but we are also wanting to develop players and we are also wanting to do well in this competition and try to win it,” he said.
“We work in the right way to get the best possible performance on the field.”
45 mins until kickoff: Today’s game in Hungary’s capital will be played behind closed doors, although there will be plenty of spectators (of a particular age range) in attendance. You can read all about the details here.
Veteran goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi starts for Hungary, as do captain Adam Szalai, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Willi Orban.
Hungary team: Gulacsi (GK) — At. Szalai, Orban, Lang — Nagy, Schafer, A. Nagy, Nego — Szoboszlai, Szalai, Sallai.
Hungary subs: Dibusz (GK), Szappanos (GK), Kecskes, Fiola, Salloi, Bolla, Kleinheisler, Vancsa, Styles, Adam, Spandler, Vecsei.
The England starting XI has been announced, and there will indeed be a debut for Jarrod Bowen — and Leicester City’s James Justin!
They become debutants numbers 1,270 and 1,271 in the history of England’s national team.
England team: Pickford (GK) — Maguire, Coady, Walker — Justin, Rice, Bellingham, Alexander-Arnold — Bowen, Kane, Mount.
England subs: Pope (GK), Ramsdale (GK), Trippier, Stones, James, Grealish, Ward-Prowse, Gallagher, Phillips, Sterling, Saka, Abraham.
1 hour 30 mins until kickoff: Gareth Southgate confirmed this week that Phil Foden will miss today’s game after testing positive for COVID-19, while Raheem Sterling is a doubt with illness. Defenders Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi are expected to sit out the game with minor injuries.
It means we could see a debut for West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen, which would cap a superb season for the 25-year-old forward.
2 hours until kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News' live coverage of the UEFA Nations League match between Hungary and England.
The Three Lions were 4-0 winners in the last meeting in Budapest between these sides, although Hungary did hold the Euro 2020 finalists to a 1-1 draw at Wembley last October.
Gareth Southgate is looking to extend his side’s record unbeaten run to 22 matches in all competitions.
How to watch Hungary vs. England
|Date||Sat, June 4||Sat, June 4||Sat, June 4||Sat, June 5|
|Time||5 p.m. BST||12 p.m. ET||12 p.m. ET||2 a.m. AET|
|TV channel||Channel 4||—||—||—|
|Streaming||All4||fuboTV, ViX||DAZN||Optus Sport|
UK: In the UK, the match is available on free-to-air TV through Channel 4 or their streaming platform All4.
USA: The match will be exclusively on fuboTV in English. It will be available in Spanish on Univision platform ViX.
Canada: The match can be seen via DAZN.
Australia: Viewers can follow the action via Optus Sport.
Hungary vs. England predicted lineups
Hungary head coach Marco Rossi has the majority of his star names available for UEFA Nations League duty this month with the country’s domestic league season ending on May 8.
Veteran goal keeper Peter Gulacsi is included in the squad alongside key trio Willi Orban, Adam Szalai and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Hungary predicted lineup (3-4-3): Gulacsi (GK) — Fiola, Orban, Lang — Nagy, Schafer, Styles, Nego — Szoboszlai, Szalai, Sallai.
Southgate has omitted Manchester United duo Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford from his squad alongside Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.
England will be without Phil Foden, who tested positive for COVID-19, while Raheem Sterling is a doubt, so there could be a debut for West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen. Defenders Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi are expected to sit out the game with minor injuries.
England predicted lineup (3-4-3): Pickford (GK) — Maguire, Stones, Walker — Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, James — Bowen, Kane, Mount.
Hungary vs. England betting odds
England head into this game on the back of a nine-match unbeaten streak following their penalty shootout defeat against Italy in the final of Euro 2020. That run includes a 4-0 victory in Hungary in September.
Despite the squad reporting for international duty on the back of a demanding club season, England will be confident of a strong return in these games, particularly against a Hungary side who have won just two of their past eight home games inside 12 months.
|Over 2.5 Goals||1/1||-110||2.07|
|Both Teams to Score||6/5||+125||2.26|
Why is Hungary vs. England behind closed doors?
The match will be played without any fans present due to sanctions issued by FIFA against Hungary.
The punishment was handed down following racism experienced by England players during the World Cup qualifying match in Budapest last September.
Hungary were also fined £158,400 ($199,300), “FIFA takes a clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football,” football’s governing body said in a statement.