Soccer-No one will bet on us against Germany, says Hungary coach Rossi


Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group A - Hungary v Switzerland - Cologne Stadium, Cologne, Germany - June 15, 2024 Hungary coach Marco Rossi reacts REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Hungary coach Marco Rossi admits that few people give his side much of a chance in their second Euro 2024 match against hosts Germany next week but still believes his players can recover from Saturday's loss to Switzerland.

"If you look at the Germany game then I think people will not bet one Hungarian forint, not a euro, on us," the Italian said in the wake of the 3-1 defeat by the Swiss in Cologne.

Rossi said only three or four of his players had produced the required level of performance against Switzerland, although an improved second-half display offered hope going forward.

Hungary were tipped as dark horses on their arrival in Germany, courtesy of a strong qualifying campaign and a 14-match unbeaten run that was interrupted only by a defeat in a friendly to Ireland in the build-up to the tournament.

But they were outplayed by the Swiss in the first half and now face a battle to reach the last 16.

They play a buoyant Germany side in Stuttgart on Wednesday before taking on Scotland, also in Stuttgart, next Sunday.

"So, as of today it looks impossible but as we showed in the last Euros, we lost to Portugal 3-0 (in the opening game) but then drew with France and were six minutes away from qualifying for the last 16 at the expense of Germany," Rossi said.

"But Germany are another team now and, not just because they won 5-1 against Scotland, I said in interviews before that in my opinion the Germans are the biggest favourites for the title."

Hungary will certainly take heart from three years ago when they recovered from conceding three late goals against Portugal to draw 1-1 with France and then 2-1 against Germany only for Leon Goretzka to equalise late on and leave Hungary bottom of the group and packing their bags.

They will also take heart from the fact that the four best third-placed teams will reach the last 16 and that Ukraine did so in Euro 2020 on three points.

But they can ill afford a repeat of the first half against Switzerland when Hungary were thrown off by their opponents' slick passing and pace.

"At halftime we had time to recover, to cool down and to think about the whole first half and correct our mistakes," Hungary defender Adam Lang said.

"We were more dangerous in the second half."

Hungary will also need more from their young captain Dominic Szoboszlai who cut a frustrated figure against Switzerland despite an assist for the goal scored by Barnabas Varga.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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