Published 02 September 2021 4 min read
Three Lions' second-half sparkle
- B. Bolla (35′)
- W. Orban (58′)
- D. Gazdag (88′)
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group Stage
Thursday 02 September, 07:45 PM Puskás Aréna
HT: 0 - 0
- R. Sterling (55′)
- H. Kane (63′)
- H. Maguire (69′)
- D. Rice (87′)
- D. Rice (54′)
- R. Sterling (56′)
Goals from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice seal win over Hungary in Budapest
A blistering second-half blitz in Budapest saw England ease past Hungary by 4-0 to continue their perfect start to 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
In the Three Lions’ first outing since the UEFA EURO 2020 Final against Italy, chances were at a premium in the first half but Raheem Sterling was on hand to break the deadlock on 55 minutes.
Headers from Harry Kane and Harry Maguire further settled the outcome before Declan Rice’s late strike put the icing on the cake as Gareth Southgate’s men stretched their lead at the top of Group I to five points ahead of Sunday’s visit of Andorra.
Southgate’s starting line-up showed just one change from the side beaten on penalties at Wembley Stadium 53 days ago, with Jack Grealish replacing Kieran Trippier and lining up on the left flank in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Faced with a raucous 60,000-strong home crowd at the Puskas Arena, England set about controlling possession in the early stages and had their first sight of goal inside five minutes as Mason Mount curled wide from 20 yards out.
Maguire headed over three minutes later and his defensive partner John Stones, winning his 50th cap for the Three Lions, had to be alert to snuff out an opening at the other end before the visitors quickly turned defence into attack.
Neat link-up play between Grealish and Mount resulted in the former finding Kane, who fired over from just outside the box as Péter Gulácsi remained untroubled.
The goalkeeper soon had to be alert to beat Shaw to Grealish’s dinked through ball and the latter was a marked man throughout the first period, Bendeguz Bolla receiving the game’s first yellow card for one of several hefty Hungarian challenges on the Manchester City ace.
The hosts, who drew with France and Germany at EURO 2020, improved as the half wore on and began to cause problems, Bolla spurning a promising position when he overhit his pass to Dominik Szoboszlai on 35 minutes.
Red Bull Leipzig star Szoboszlai fired a well-placed free-kick over shortly afterwards and England had the final effort of the half as Mount saw his shot blocked following good work by Sterling.
The visitors came out after the restart looking for a cutting edge to go with their possession and created a fine chance to take the lead on 50 minutes.
Kyle Walker’s incisive through ball set Kane away but the striker’s finish was uncharacteristically tame and straight at Gulácsi.
The miss was not to be a costly one, however, as England broke the deadlock with their next attack.
Rice, booked for a late challenge just moments previously, won the ball back on the halfway line and found Grealish, who in turn released an overlapping Mount down the left.
The Chelsea man’s cutback was perfect for Sterling, who picked out the bottom corner to silence the home crowd.
The goalscorer remained heavily involved and, after seeing two penalty appeals waved away, turned provider as England doubled their lead.
This time it was Phillips who earned possession back inside the Hungarian half and when the ball found its way to Sterling, his cross was headed home by Kane from six yards out.
The skipper then saw a low left-footed effort saved by the feet of Gulácsi after latching on to Grealish’s pass but Southgate’s side did not have to wait long for their third.
And it came with echoes of the EURO 2020 quarter-final against Ukraine as a Shaw set-piece – this time a corner rather than a free-kick – was headed home by a towering Maguire to put England in a commanding position with 21 minutes to play.
Kane had another chance for international goal number 40 when he was played in by Grealish but Gulácsi again stood tall, with the goalkeeper then on hand to deny Sterling his second from point-blank range.
But the Hungarian gloveman blotted his copybook late on by letting Rice’s low strike from distance squirm through his grasp as England put the seal on a superb display which saw them make light work of a potentially tricky test.
England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton); 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 3 Luke Shaw (Manchester United); 4 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 8 Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United); 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), 11 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 7 Jack Grealish (Manchester City); 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (c)
Substitutes: 19 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) for Mount 84’, 17 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) for Grealish 88’, 14 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) for Rice 88’
Substitutes not used: 12 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), 13 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), 15 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), 16 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 18 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 20 Reece James (Chelsea), 21 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), 22 Nick Pope (Burnley), 23 Patrick Bamford (Leeds United)
Goals: Sterling 55’, Kane 63’, Maguire 69’, Rice 87’
Yellow cards: Rice 53’, Sterling 56’
Hungary (3-4-2-1): 1 Péter Gulácsi; 3 Ákos Kecskés, 6 Willi Orban, 4 Attila Szalai; 14 Bendeguz Bolla, 15 László Kleinheisler, 13 András Schäfer, 5 Attila Fiola; 20 Rolan Sallai, 10 Dominik Szoboszlai; 9 Ádám Szalai
Substitutes: 7 Dániel Sallói for Sallai 66’, 11 Kevin Varga for Bolla 70’, 16 Dániel Gazdag for Kleinheisler 82’
Substitutes not used: 2 Ádám Lang, 8 Tamás Cseri, 12 Dénes Dibusz, 17 Roland Varga, 18 Márk Tamas, 19 János Hahn, 21 Szabolcs Schön
Yellow cards: Bolla 35’, Orban 60’
Referee: Cuneyt Cakır