A goal in each half by Krisztián Németh and Vladimir Koman left five-time winners Italy on the verge of early elimination from the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and revived Hungary's hopes of progressing from qualifying Group 3.
Pierluigi Casiraghi's side had taken four points from their first three fixtures, yet were always up against it at the Györi Eto Stadium from the moment András Simon's clever reverse pass put in Németh – who scored twice in extra-time to eliminate Italy in the FIFA U-20 World Cup quarter-finals last month – to open the scoring in the 15th minute. Hungarian hopes suffered a knock five minutes later, however, when Németh had to be replaced after falling badly when challenging for a high ball, although Péter Gulácsi produced a fine save from Mario Balotelli's header on the stroke of half-time.
The FC Internazionale Milano forward was again to the fore in the second period, volleying against the post in the 59th minute before Gulácsi denied him again. Koman then inspired a series of dangerous counterattacks as space opened up and made Italy pay for their failure to equalise with two minutes left, when he beat debutant Vito Mannone with a precise low shot. Hungary, who lost their last fixture 4-1 to section leaders Wales in August, remain second in the pool, four points off the pace with a game in hand, while Italy are nine points adrift of the summit.