Published 02 September 2021 6 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Patience pays off in Hungary

Written by:

Frank Smith

England's manager has his say as the Three Lions make it four wins from four in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group

Gareth Southgate explained why patience was key for England as their continual pressure finally told during the 4-0 victory away to Hungary.

The Three Lions enjoyed 69 per cent possession during the first half at the Puskas Arena but were unable to make that dominance count in the opening 45 minutes, as Southgate’s men had to settle for four off-target attempts.

But England were far more ruthless after the restart, as Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice all found the net.

There could have been even more for the Three Lions but in the end had to settle for four goals, as they made it four wins from four and extended their advantage at the top of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group to five points.

Southgate told BBC 5Live: “I was very pleased with the first half, we were in total control of the game. One or two small errors led to counter-attacks but we controlled possession. 

“We were playing the right types of passes and taking up the right sort of positions, we just weren’t connecting in that final third. 

“We knew if we kept doing the right things that in the end, we had so much of the ball that the opposition would tire. We had some great chances to make it even more comfortable.”


Hungary had recorded draws with France and Germany at UEFA Euro 2020 and had also held Portugal until the final six minutes.

That resilience was clear to see in the opening 45 minutes but England were always in control of the contest in Budapest and eventually made that dominance count.

Southgate continued: “The first couple of goals came from turnovers and quick counter-attacks. We used the ball well all night. I don’t think there was much between the two halves, I have to say. 

“Of course the goals came in the second, then they’re open and they’ve got to push – scoring the first goal is always so important. We’ve made a very difficult game, as we saw from all their matches here [in Budapest] in the summer, look quite comfortable.”

Next up for England is a home match with Andorra at Wembley on Sunday, before a third 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier this month away to Poland, who like Hungary are five points behind the Three Lions in Group I.

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