Lázló Kleinheisler scored 26 minutes into his senior international debut and Hungary held on to take a 1-0 win away from Norway in the first leg of their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying play-off.
Norway made a promising start as captain Per Ciljan Skjelbred had a huge chance to score after just three minutes, but Hungary goalkeeper Gábor Király tipped the shot over for what was the first of 16 corners for the hosts, who did not have to face one. From that set piece an Even Hovland header narrowly missed the target.
After the intense opening, the game tightened up, with few opportunities at either end. But then Hungary grabbed the initiative on 26 minutes and it was Kleinheisler who struck, swerving a half-volley from the right side of the box which Norway keeper Ørjan Nyland could only steer it into his own net.
The next 64 minutes produced a succession of Norway chances, but somehow no goal to take to Budapest on Sunday – beginning with Alexander Søderlund firing straight at the legs of Király. Ákos Elek came close with a header on the stroke of half-time but that was a rare Hungary opportunity.
A Vegard Forren cross was dropped by Király on 71 minutes yet, to the goalkeeper's relief, Attila Fiola hacked clear. With two minutes to go Király blocked Stefan Johansen's effort and substitute Pål André Helland's header looped onto the bar. Zoltán Gera will be suspended on Sunday after a booking but otherwise it was a perfect first leg for Hungary.
Bernd Storck, Hungary coach
Norway are still the favourites. Norway have very good players. We need to play like we did today, or we will have problems. We are in a good position. We did a good job for Hungarian football. We want to continue this job, and we need success. We want to continue this on Sunday.
Per-Mathias Høgmo, Norway coach
We are halfway and already looking forward to the next 90 minutes in Hungary. We played a good game. We had a fantastic start, creating a double chance. Unfortunately, we are not sharp enough in the box. I told the players to be offensive, and we are really looking forward to going to Hungary. I told the players: Let this match motivate you for what you are in for in three days time.
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