Published 12 October 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team
England held by Hungary
- J. Stones (37′)
- L. Shaw (22′)
WC Qualification Europe Group Stage
Tuesday 12 October, 07:45 PM Wembley Stadium
HT: 1 - 1
- R. Sallai (24′PEN)
- D. Szoboszlai (90′)
A John Stones equaliser secures a point for the Three Lions against a resolute Hungary team
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England’s lead at the top of Group I in the race for the 2022 World Cup was cut to three points as a stubborn Hungary side held the Three Lions to a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium.
Roland Sallai’s 24th-minute penalty was cancelled out by John Stones 13 minutes later and the hosts were unable to find a winner despite Raheem Sterling and Stones coming close.
Filip Holender fired over for the visitors late on and Hungary dug in for a point which brought an end to England’s run of 21 consecutive home victories in qualifiers.
Stones was one of two survivors from Saturday’s win over Andorra in a starting XI showing nine changes and the centre-half had to be alert early on to prevent Dominik Szoboszlai’s cross finding its intended target.
England’s first attack of note came after nine minutes as Shaw and Grealish played an excellent one-two down the left and the former’s cross just evaded a sliding Harry Kane at the back post, with Zsolt Nagy nipping in to deny the skipper.
Szoboszlai was proving influential for the visitors and his cross was volleyed over by Sollai as Hungary continued to threaten, looking a vastly improved outfit from that beaten 4-0 in the reverse fixture in Budapest a month ago.
And their impressive start was rewarded from the penalty spot when Luke Shaw was penalised for a high foot on Loic Nego midway through the first half, receiving a yellow card for his troubles.
Jordan Pickford, facing a penalty in an England shirt for the first time since saving from Jorginho in the UEFA EURO 2020 Final shootout, was sent the wrong way on this occasion as Sallai kept his cool to put Hungary in front.
England then saw penalty appeals of their own waved away shortly afterwards as Kane was bundled over by Attila Szalai before applying pressure with a string of set-pieces.
Mason Mount’s deep free-kick was tipped behind by Gulacsi and a corner was scrambled away as Hungary initially held firm but they could do nothing to prevent the Three Lions drawing level eight minutes before the break.
Foden’s inswinging delivery from the right took a flick off a defender at the near post and found its way to Stones, who tapped home his third England goal and first since his brace against Panama at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Jack Grealish couldn’t get his shot away following neat footwork and Raheem Sterling saw a far-post header saved with the last action of a half the hosts ended on top.
England’s first opportunity after the restart also came from a Foden set-piece, this time a corner which Gulacsi clawed away, but Hungary retained an attacking threat of their own with Sallai’s fierce drive blocked by Tyrone Mings.
Foden continued to pierce gaps in the defence and his next incisive pass found his Sterling in space down the right.
The winger looked to complete an all-Manchester City move by finding Grealish in the middle but Gulacsi intervened before Stones sent a header narrowly wide in search of his and England’s second.
The hosts dominated possession as the second half wore on without creating the clear-cut opportunity they craved, with Sterling poking a presentable opportunity straight at Gulacsi on 69 minutes.
Kane sliced wide from an offside position five minutes later in his final act before being replaced by Tammy Abraham for the closing stages, bringing to an end his remarkable run of scoring in 15 consecutive qualifiers.
But it was a Hungarian substitute who came closest to finding a late winner, however, with Holender curling over when well placed after Saka had been dispossessed in a dangerous position.
Gulacsi pushed away a Foden cross and Shaw fired the rebound wide as England pushed in vain for a late winner, with Ollie Watkins denied by Gulacsi moments after coming off the bench in injury time.
The point ensures Southgate’s side remain unbeaten in Group I and stay in pole position ahead of the concluding clashes against Albania and San Marino in November.
England (4-3-3): 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), 3 Luke Shaw (Manchester United); 8 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 4 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 11 Mason Mount (Chelsea); 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (C); 7 Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
Substitutes: 19 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) for Grealish 62’, 18 Tammy Abraham (Roma) for Kane 76’, 14 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) for Sterling 76’, 23 Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) for Abraham 90+2’
Substitutes not used: 12 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), 13 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), 15 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 16 Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), 17 Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), 20 Jadon Sancho (Manchester United), 21 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), 22 Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal),
Goals: Stones 37’
Cautions: Shaw 23’
Hungary (3-4-2-1): 1 Peter Gulacsi; 3 Akos Kecskes, 2 Adam Lang, 4 Attila Szalai; 7 Loic Nego, 8 Adam Nagy, 13 Andras Schafer, 5 Zsolt Nagy; 10 Dominik Szoboszlai, 19 Szabolcs Schon; 20 Roland Sallai
Substitutes: 11 Filip Holender for Schon 68’, 18 Balint Vecsei for Schafer 79’, 21 Janos Hahn, 23 Nemanja Nikolic for Szoboszlai 90+2’, 14 Bendeguz Bolla for Nego 90+3’
Substitutes not used: 6 Botond Balogh, 9 Daniel Salloi, 16 Gazdag, 17 Roland Varga, 22 Adam Bogdan
Goals: Sallai 24’, Szoboszlai 90’
Cautions: Schafer 41’
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández