Wales suffered yet more disappointment in the European Qualifiers as their hopes of reaching EURO 2020 took a setback in Budapest against Hungary, who have moved three points clear at the top of Group E.
Hungary 1-0 Wales
EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS - GROUP E
- Tuesday, 11 June 2019
- Groupama Arena, Budapest
Ryan Giggs was aiming for a positive result at the Groupama Arena following defeat against Croatia three days previously, and this latest loss would have hurt having taken many positives out of the game against the World Cup finalists.
For the vast majority of the match Wales looked comfortable and certainly enjoyed plenty of possession throughout the 90 minutes but it was the hosts who created the better chances in the game and in the end were also the most clinical.
Wales had a superb chance to take the lead and the opportunity fell to the right person as David Brooks and Tom Lawrence combined to set-up Gareth Bale. The Welsh attack had outnumbered the Hungarian defence and with just the goalkeeper to beat, Bale uncharacteristically scuffed his shot and sent the ball into the arms of Peter Gulacsi.
Hungary made Wales rue that missed chance as they took the lead with just 10 minutes of the match remaining.
A ball that was sent up the pitch to Adam Szalai was expertly held up by the bustling Hungary forward. With James Lawrence’s challenge being muscled away deep inside the box, Szalai proceeded to set-up Mate Patkai, who fired the ball into the net past Wayne Hennessey.
The Budapest crowd went wild and the Hungarian players were feeding off their positive energy to survive a Wales onslaught. However, Hungary finished the game strongly and could have increased their lead but sent their chances off target.
Hungary have gone top of the group, three points clear of Croatia and Slovakia; and six points clear of Wales.
Wales have five games left to turn their qualification hopes around and will return to action in September against Azerbaijan in Cardiff.
Hungary just edged the match on possession with 53% of the ball compared to 47% for Wales. The home team also created more goals scoring chances as they registered 9 shots, of which 3 were on target. Meanwhile, Wales mustered a total of 6, 4 of which were on target.
The Reaction: Ryan Giggs
“I’m disappointed. You can’t fault the effort of the lads in both games. They’ve worked tremendously hard but in the two games we’ve had too many missed chances. When you get chances at this level you have to take them.
"I don’t know whether it’s concentration or whether it’s quality. We didn’t start well. Second half we were much better. We looked dangerous, especially on counter. They were only dangerous on set pieces and we gave too much away in the first half.
"We have to win the majority of our remaining games, we’re that far behind. We have to start winning games and climb up that table. I think different teams will take points off each other. First of all, we have to do our own job and start winning games."
The Standings - Group E
Hungary: Gulacsi; Lovrencsics, Barath, Orban, Korhut; A Nagy, Patkai; Dzsudzsak (C) (Kleinheisler 70), Szoboszlai (Bese 83), Holender (R Varga 58); Szalai.
Subs not used: Dibusz, Kovacsik, Ferenczi, Paulo Vinicius, Nemeth, Kalmar, D Nagy, Holman, Kovacs.
Goal: Patkai 80
Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, A Williams (C), J Lawrence, B Davies; Allen, Ampadu (Smith 54); T Lawrence (Vokes 79), Brooks (Wilson 73), James; Bale.
Subs not used: Ward, A Davies, Taylor, Mepham, Woodburn, C Roberts, Matondo, Lockyer, Vaulks.