Greece swansong consigns Hungary to play-offs

Greece 4-3 Hungary Bernd Storck's side fell to an agonising late defeat in Athens but can still qualify for UEFA EURO 2016 after finishing third in Group F.

Watch the best of the action from a seven-goal thriller in Group F, including a brace from Hungary’s Krisztián Németh.
  • Greece gain consolation despite finishing bottom of Group F
  • Hungary must wait to see if they avoid play-offs as best third-placed team
  • Kostas Stafylidis slots his first international goal from close range to open scoring
  • Gergő Lovrencsics and Krisztián Németh put the visitors ahead
  • Panagiotis Tachtsidis gets first international goal, but Németh strikes again
  • Kostas Mitroglou levels and substitute Panagiotis Kone wins it for the hosts

Hungary were denied an automatic berth at UEFA EURO 2016 as Group F bottom side Greece gained some consolation with an exciting 4-3 victory in Piraeus.

The hosts' interim coach Kostas Tsanas decided to give youth a chance, and that meant chances for PAOK full-backs Stelios Kitsiou and Kostas Stafylidis, as well as midfielder Dimitris Pelkas, AEK Athens forward Petros Mantalos and his club-mate Adam Tzanetpoulos. The move paid off too, with a performance full of energy and desire that had been lacking for the rest of the campaign, even if Hungary did come within reach of a first ever win on Greek soil.

Stafylidis put the hosts ahead on five minutes with his first international goal – and indeed Greece's first home strike of the campaign – but Gergő Lovrencsics headed the visitors level not long before the half-hour. Krisztián Németh then fired Hungary in front after the break with a tap-in, before Panagiotis Tachtsidis burst through on goal to open his own international account in the 57th minute.

The scoring was not finished there, however, as Németh lashed home with just Orestis Karnezis to beat from substitute Zsolt Kalmár's brilliant assist to make it 3-2, and Kostas Mitroglou slotted home with ten minutes left. Substitute Panagiotis Kone then won it for Greece with a thumping header from José Holebas's left-wing cross to secure the 2004 European champions their only win of the campaign.

Defeat for Hungary allowed Romania to take the second automatic qualifying slot in Group F behind Northern Ireland, but Bernd Storck's men may yet be spared the play-offs as they remain in contention to reach the finals as the best third-placed team. They now face a nervous two days' wait before discovering their fate.

©AFP/Getty Images
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