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England 0-4 Hungary: Magyars find magic touch to dismantle Three Lions

Two Roland Sallai goals and one apiece from Zsolt Nagy and Dániel Gazdag gave Hungary a memorable victory in England and first place in their UEFA Nations League group.

Highlights: England 0-4 Hungary

An impressive Hungary recorded their first away win against England since 1953 – and their second victory over the Three Lions in this UEFA Nations League campaign – to go top of Group A3.

Key moments

16' Sallai volleys in opening goal
36' Dibusz parries Orbán header
70' Sallai doubles visitors' lead
77' Kane rattles woodwork
80' Nagy thumps in Hungary's third
82' Stones sent off for second booking
89' Gazdag lifts fourth goal over Ramsdale

Match in brief: Well-drilled Magyars too good for England

Roland Sallai celebrates scoring the opener
Roland Sallai celebrates scoring the openerGetty Images

Gareth Southgate had sought more energy from his team by making nine changes to his starting XI, and indeed, England started brightly with confident, free-flowing football – Reece James and Bukayo Saka looking particularly dangerous on the left.

However, against the run of play, it was Hungary who took the lead as some slack England defending from a corner allowed Roland Sallai to volley past Aaron Ramsdale from close range.

Southgate had praised his squad's mentality before the match, and England's response to falling behind was to take control, Willi Orbán inadvertently forcing a crucial block from Dénes Dibusz and Jude Bellingham going close soon after.

As it happened: England 0-4 Hungary


England started the second half with more attacking intent, but Molineux was stunned into silence in the 70th minute when Sallai latched on to Martin Ádám's perfectly-timed through ball to double Hungary's advantage.

Harry Kane struck the woodwork minutes later as the hosts refused to concede defeat, but Zsolt Nagy and Dániel Gazdag struck late breakaway goals either side of John Stones' 82nd-minute dismissal to crown a memorable evening for the visitors.

Ádám Szalai leads Hungary's celebrations in front of their supporters
Ádám Szalai leads Hungary's celebrations in front of their supportersAFP via Getty Images

Bottom of the section, England have now failed to score from open play for a fourth consecutive game, while Hungary go top of Group A3, above Germany and Italy, ahead of the final two group stage matches in September.

Matthew Howarth, match reporter

England’s run of Nations League fixtures ends the way it began – with a bitterly disappointing defeat against a well-drilled Hungary outfit. The Three Lions' struggles in front of goal continued at Molineux as they failed to score from open play for the fourth game running, but the night belonged to Marco Rossi's side, who become the first Hungary team to beat England away from home since that famous 6-3 victory at Wembley in 1953.

Group 3 Live now

Played P Won W Draws D Lost L For Against Goal difference Points Pts
HUN Hungary
Playing now
4 2 1 1 7 3 4 7
GER Germany
Playing now
4 1 3 0 8 5 3 6
ITA Italy
Playing now
4 1 2 1 5 7 -2 5
ENG England
Playing now
4 0 2 2 1 6 -5 2

Reaction

Gazdag hails Hungary team spirit

Dániel Gazdag, Hungary midfielder: "We're very happy. It was a very important result for us. We played a very good game and deserved the result. We had to defend well at the start but we improved and got more confident later in the game."

Gareth Southgate, England manager: "We started brightly. The first goal took the confidence out of us a little bit. We had chances early in the second half but the second goal on the break was a real killer for us. I picked a very young team, that's my responsibility. I haven't got the balance right in the two games against Hungary. After the first goal the anxiety crept in a little bit and we weren't able to recover from that."

Harry Kane, England forward: "It's a disappointing night. In the first half we created enough chances to score but it has been the story of our Nations League, we have not quite had the cutting edge. The second half wasn't acceptable after going 2-0 down. It's not the time to panic, we have to get the heads up and come back stronger in September."

Key stats

  • This was Hungary's second victory in 12 away games against England and the first since a famous 6-3 victory in 1953, England's first home defeat against non-British or Irish opposition.
  • Hungary have lost only two of their last 13 UEFA Nations League matches (W7 D4).
  • England have won only one of their last seven UEFA Nations League games (D2 L4).
  • England have failed to score in five of their last seven games in the UEFA Nations League.
  • Hungary have only failed to score in one of their last 13 fixtures in this competition.
Southgate on 'difficult night' for England

Line-ups

England: Ramsdale; James, Guéhi, Stones, Walker; Gallagher (Mount 56), Phillips, Bellingham (Foden 68); Saka (Maguire 85), Kane, Bowen (Sterling 46)

Hungary: Dibusz; Lang, Orbán, At. Szalai; Fiola, Schäfer, Styles (A Nagy 55), Z Nagy; Szoboszlai (Gazdag 55), Sallai (Négo 78); Ad. Szalai (Ádám 68)

What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?

The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023 with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.

The teams finishing fourth in the groups in League A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.