Hungary ready to surprise Germany after France draw


Voila!: Hungary’s Attila Fiola celebrates scoring their first goal against France. — Reuters

BUDAPEST: Hungary coach Marco Rossi was not sure his team would achieve much against world champions France in their Euro 2020 Group F match but after they came away with a 1-1 draw he wants them to spring a surprise against Germany as well.

After a heartbreaking late meltdown in Hungary’s first game on Tuesday which they lost 3-0 to defending champions Portugal, a team Rossi thought would be easier to face than France, the coach said he was happy for them to be the protagonists now.

“This is incredible, it is exceptional,” a joyful Rossi told a news conference, stressing that besides the result against France the effort was laudable as well. “We have to be happy abut the performance. It should make our guys proud.”

Attila Fiola put the hosts ahead just before halftime but Antoine Griezmann equalised in the 66th minute to move France on to four points after two games and on track for the last 16.

Hungary’s unexpected point kept alive their slim hopes and they must now beat another heavyweight, Germany, on Wednesday to have a chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

“We need to keep our feet on the ground. I’m not arrogant and saying we’ll win in Munich, but we will do our best to make it a match,” said Rossi, who took a swipe at critics who said he should have called up different players for the finals.

Meanwhile, France struggled to impose themselves against Hungary in part due to facing a hostile crowd for the first time in months, goalscorer Griezmann said.

“It was a difficult match with the fans (in the stands). We had lost the habit of playing in a full stadium. We couldn’t hear ourselves,” Griezmann told BeIN Sports.

“The pitch was dry, it was hot and heavy, but we knew that before the start of the match. We got caught out, we did not convert our chances and we paid the price.” — Reuters

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