The expectation was that we’d be in for a dramatic night of action when England hosted Hungary on Tuesday night and, in many ways, that’s exactly what we got. Both nations had something to fight for and that led to an encounter that may not have been a classic, but that certainly provided us with plenty of talking points.
The final scoreline was 1-1 which didn’t really suit either team when you take a look at the landscape of Group I with World Cup qualifying drawing to a close next month.
Hungary wanted it more
They defended well, they hit the Three Lions on the counter on several occasions, and they just seemed to be that little bit hungrier to get after the ball. It’s a real shame that a collection of the fans who made the trip had to behave in the manner they did but in terms of what was happening on the pitch, the underdogs lived up to their end of the deal. They made it difficult and nauseating for the Euro 2020 finalists and even though they didn’t come away with all three points, it should still go down as a reassuring performance.
Negative Southgate strikes again
Bringing on Jordan Henderson for a forward says all you need to know about the mentality of Gareth Southgate in this game, and the worst part is that the actual style of play wasn’t great to watch either. They were switching the ball from side to side as if they didn’t have any real idea as to how to break Hungary down, with their only goal stemming from a fortunate set-piece that found its way into the back of the net at the near post. If this was a report card, it would say “not good enough” with regards to the gaffer.
Group I uncertainty
England are top of the group with two games left to play and even though they’re three points ahead of Poland in 2nd place, they need to be wary of what happens in the ninth round of fixtures. If they somehow lose to Albania and the Poles pick up a big win then they could drop into the play-off positions heading into the final game against San Marino. It’s unlikely, and the Three Lions should be a bit more “at the races” in November, but Albania, Poland and Hungary are making this as uncomfortable as possible on the road to Qatar.
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