Hungary remain in contention for a place in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs after outclassing Malta 2-0 at the Illovsky Rudolf stadium.
After dominating for so long, Hungary really should have had more to show for their efforts than first-half goals from Péter Maté and Tibor Tisza. The Hungarians now have 15 points from seven games, the same as a Sweden team who they tackle in Budapest on Wednesday. Croatia remain three points clear after they triumphed 2-1 in Iceland tonight.
Tisza set the tone for a fine personal performance in the first minute by firing an effort at goal which a Malta defender bravely blocked. György Sandor and György Józsi also went close before the Maltese almost shocked the home side with a swift counterattack as the half-hour approached. Cleaven Frendo drove Shaon Bajada's cross into the body of Marton Fülõp, presenting Paul Fenech with a chance from the rebound which he drilled into the side-netting.
Hungary heeded this warning and their opening goal came just seconds later, Maté leaping highest to head in an inswinging corner from captain Péter Czvitkovics. Tisza, who also scored in the corresponding fixture, made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute by breaking away, dribbling around the goalkeeper and slotting the ball into an empty net. Péter Czvitkovics was Hungary's main threat after the break, and went closest to extending the lead when hitting the crossbar in the 70th minute.