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Hungary resist Moldova comeback

Hungary 2-1 Moldova
Gergely Rudolf and Vladimir Koman got Hungary off and running though Alexandru Suvorov's late goal provided a tense finale.

Gergely Rudolf broke the deadlock for the hosts
Gergely Rudolf broke the deadlock for the hosts ©Getty Images

Hungary got their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign up and running as long-range strikes from Gergely Rudolf and Vladimir Koman proved enough to see off Moldova – although Alexandru Suvorov's late goal provided a tense finale.

Both sides had been knocking at the door before Rudolf adopted a less subtle approach five minutes after half-time when a clearance fell his way. An initial volley was blocked but he controlled the rebound and fired low past Stanislav Namaşco's left hand. The goalkeeper was beaten again when Koman tucked the ball inside the other post from 20 metres. Suvorov reduced the deficit 11 minutes from time and Anatolie Doroş almost completed an unlikely comeback, but Hungary held on.

In slippery conditions both teams struggled to get a foothold in a scrappy opening, though this Group E fixture was never short on chances. It took an acrobatic save from Gábor Király to palm a Suvorov effort around the upright following a commanding run and at the other end only a goal-line clearance prevented Zoltán Gera from giving the hosts the advantage. Moldova then had the best chance of the first half when Igor Ţîgîrlaş bisected the Hungary centre-backs with a one-two and went clean through; but with the goal at his mercy he stroked the ball agonisingly wide.

Rudolf and Koman were less profligate though Hungary coach Sándor Egervári was almost left to rue his decision to bring on an extra defender when Viorel Frunza teed up Suvorov to squeeze the ball low just inside Király's left post. It sparked a belated Moldova resurgence, which almost brought a reward when substitute Doroş twice went close, first sliding the ball into the side netting, then sending a rasping long-distance volley just centimetres wide. The final whistle could not come soon enough for Hungary.