Hungary stun 10-man Austria
15 June 2016, 07:50
Bordeaux - Adam Szalai and Zoltan Stieber scored second-half goals as Hungary
stunned highly-fancied Austria 2-0 in their Group F opener in Bordeaux
Austria, tipped as tournament dark horses, dominated
the opening period but Szalai fired Hungary ahead on 62 minutes with
Stieber wrapping up a shock victory over their old rivals late on in the
138th meeting between the sides.
Aleksandar Dragovic was sent
off for Austria shortly after Szalai ended an 18-month goal drought as
Hungary made a triumphant return to a major tournament having last
featured at the 1986 World Cup.
"Unfortunately we weren't able to do what we wanted today," said Austria coach Marcel Koller.
some players were nervous because it was the beginning. We can't just
push a button and say 'Now I'm going to play at my best level'.
"The situation now is we'll have to try and win against Portugal."
goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly kept a clean sheet as he became the first
40-year-old to feature at the European Championship, surpassing
Germany's Lothar Matthaus as the oldest player in tournament history.
captain Christian Fuchs and winger Martin Harnik were the only two
survivors from the country's debut campaign eight years ago named in
Koller's starting line-up.
However, they were inches away from
the perfect start when Bayern Munich star David Alaba went agonisingly
close to justifying his billing as one of the potential stars of the
tournament when his dipping left-footed strike from outside the area
crashed against the post.
The versatile Alaba, operating in his
customary central midfield role with Austria, soon fired another warning
to Hungary with a first-time strike at Kiraly after a threaded pass
through from Marko Arnautovic.
Szalai miscued a header from a
Balazs Dzsudzsak free-kick in a rare opening for Hungary, while Kiraly
showed his reflexes remain sharp despite his advancing years to claw
behind a low strike from Zlatko Junuzovic.
Arnautovic then slid a
dangerous low ball across the face of goal as Austria continued to
threaten, but Harnik lost his footing as he tried to slide home at the
Hungary captain Dzsudzsak wasted arguably the best
chance of the opening 45 minutes, though, as he screwed his shot wide of
goal after he was picked out by Laszlo Kleinheisler on the right-hand
side of the penalty area.
Dzsudzsak again took aim 10 minutes into
the second period, his stinging 30-yard shot forcing Austria keeper
Robert Almer to punch behind for a corner.
And Hungary grabbed a
surprise lead just beyond the hour when Kleinheisler slipped in Szalai,
who was played onside by Fuchs, with the powerful striker poking the
ball underneath Almer for his first goal at any level since December
Austria appeared to have levelled when Martin Hinteregger
rifled in from the edge of the area, but referee Clement Turpin
disallowed the goal for a foul on Tamas Kadar with Dragovic dismissed
for a second booking.
And Stieber triggered delirious
celebrations when he raced from just inside the Austria half to beat
Almer three minutes from time with a sublime chip as Hungary completed a
stunning upset for their first European Championship win since 1964.