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Hungary's Last-Minute Goal Keeps Euro 2024 Hopes Alive, Knocks Out Scotland

The Liverpool contingent of captains Andrew Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai shook hands at kick-off but there was little amicable about a battling first-half which saw several yellow cards. Perhaps in an attempt to calm a raucous Scottish crowd, Hungary appeared content to let their opponents keep the ball, resulting in a whopping 77% possession to the Scots upon the 25-minute mark. They were unable to force Péter Gulácsi into any real action in the Hungarian net however, and once again looked short on a goalscorer in a muted first-half attacking display in which they produced no shots on target.

With news of Switzerland’s lead against Germany in Frankfurt extinguishing Scotland’s hopes of an unlikely second-placed finish, the cheers from the Tartan Army crowd increased in ferocity, knowing that victory was of the utmost importance if they were to advance from third place. Hungary did well to contain the eager Scots however, and should have found themselves ahead shortly before the break when Szoboszlai’s delicious floated free-kick found Willi Orbán, who could only head over from six-yards out.

With a draw doing neither side a favour, and with zero attempted shots by Scotland as the game drew towards the hour mark, frustrations flared with Scott McTominay receiving a caution that will rule him out of the Round of 16. He remained the focal point for his side’s desperate search for a goal however, and John McGinn ought to have found the Manchester United man in the middle of the area after brilliantly evading several defenders on the wing.

A serious-looking collision between Barnabás Varga and Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn saw the game stopped for a long period with Varga subsequently stretchered off the field. In an emotionally-charged contest, Hungary responded bravely, and Szoboszlai almost broke the Scottish resistance when forcing Gunn into a superb stop from close range after charging into the penalty area. Hungary would keep pushing into the last seconds, and Kevin Csoboth sent the crowd into a frenzy after finishing off a slick counter attack from 12 yards with 100 minutes gone.

Ultimately, it was a distinct lack of quality in the final third that saw Scotland limp out of the tournament. Contrasting emotions for Hungary, whose last-gasp goal sees them maintain hope of progressing from Group A with their three points seeing them finish in third place.

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Written by Charles Daisi

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