Soccer-Hungary must be perfect to even get a draw against Germany, says coach


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

STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - Hungary will need to play a perfect game to get at least a point against Euro 2024 hosts Germany as they seek to make amends for the way they lost to Switzerland in their Group A opener, coach Marco Rossi said on Tuesday.

The Italian said it was the first time in four years that he was ashamed of his players after a complacent Hungary were two goals down to the Swiss by halftime on Saturday, eventually losing 3-1.

However, Rossi insisted that his team were determined to put in the kind of performance on Wednesday that would restore pride and keep their last-16 hopes alive ahead of a final group game against Scotland.

"We've paid for these (mistakes) in the first game and tomorrow we are playing Germany which, in my opinion, is the toughest rival, toughest team to play now, but we will do our best," Rossi told a press conference.

"We know on paper the German team is better than us. This should further motivate us, allowing us to give our very best show.

"Hopefully we can grasp a point tomorrow and that will allow us, I hope, to qualify for the next round. But this will call for the perfect match, all those playing must give 100%."

Hungary are joint bottom of Group A with Scotland on zero points, ahead of the Scots only on goal difference, so they need a positive result if they are to reach the knockout stage for the first time since Euro 2016.

"We seek some sort of comeback. Because for the first time in four years, since November 2020, I was ashamed of my team after the first half," he added.

"But inevitably the first half affected the final outcome. And I and my players have this sensation right now that we really want to show what we are truly worth."

Hungary have a good recent record against the Germans, going unbeaten in their last three encounters - the last of which was a 1-0 win for the Hungarians in Leipzig in the Nations League in September 2022.

However, this will be the first time that Rossi faces a German side coached by Julian Nagelsmann who had home fans giddy with excitement after their 5-1 mauling of Scotland in the tournament's opening game.

"Right now, it's not the German squad we played against three years ago (Euro 2020) or in the Nations League," Rossi said.

"They have (midfielder) Toni Kroos once again, he needs no introduction.

"The previous coaches were very good but I think this one (Nagelsmann) is really a top notch coach. So if you look at all this you know what you’re in for. We know it will be very tough for us."

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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