Hungary got their UEFA EURO 2008™ campaign back on track in Budapest with a comfortable victory over Moldova in Group C.
The hosts were in control as early as the ninth minute when Tamás Priskin's header took a slight deflection off Alexandru Epureanu, and Zoltán Gera added a second goal after the break to complete the scoring.
Peter Várhidi's team were looking to erase the memory of their surprise defeat by Malta last October, and were rewarded for a strong start when Tamás Hajnal's cross was flicked into the path of Priskin and his powerful header beat Serghei Pascenco with the aid of a touch off Epureanu. Nonetheless, Moldova grew in stature and thought they had equalised when Viorel Frunza stabbed a shot past Zoltán Végh only to find that he had strayed fractionally offside.
Saved by the bar
The hosts responded with Gera firing centimetres wide following a long throw by Boldizsár Bodor. Pascenco's goal continued to lead a charmed life after the restart, with Hungary twice rattling the crossbar within the space of 60 seconds. First Krisztián Vadócz's near-post drive was tipped on to the bar by the keeper, then the FC Sheriff stopper could only watch as Priskin's 25-metre effort cannoned back into play off the woodwork.
Várhidi's side were not to be denied, though, and they eventually doubled their lead after 63 minutes. Hajnal was again the provider as he floated a deep free-kick into the Moldova area where Gera swept the ball low past Pascenco. Substitute Szabolcs Huszti nearly extended the advantage when his free header from a Dániel Tőzsér corner narrowly missed the target while Priskin spurned a glorious chance as he curled wide after being released by Vadócz. Moldova squandered their opportunity to get back into the match with 12 minutes remaining, substitute Serghei Alexeev poking an effort at Végh from close range.