Hungary Under 21s Suffer Last Minute Heartbreak In Toulon

Written for the lovely guys at French Football Weekly

France grabbed a last minute equaliser and go through top of the group while Hungary are sent crashing out of the Toulon Tournament at the first hurdle.

With France having very little to play for after winning their first two games comfortably, they didn’t look to be taking the game too seriously, and put in quite a lacklustre performance against the Hungarians. But for Hungary it was completely different. They needed to equal or better Mexico’s result against China in Marquet to progress.

The game had been quite an even contest with both sets of goalkeepers making a couple excellent saves to keep their sides in the game, but it was Hungary who took the lead through Werder Bremen’s Marko Futacs after 46minutes. Videoton’s Andras Gosztonyi picked the ball half way through France’s half and played a delicious ball to the big striker who kept his calm and beat the French goalkeeper.

Meanwhile over in the other game, Mexico were level with China 1-1, and had just had a man sent off. It looked for all the World like Hungary were going to advance, especially with France seemingly not having any urgency to get back in the game.

Gosztonyi again fashioned out a chance for Futacs with 10 minutes to go in an almost identical manner to the goal, but this time the French goalkeeper was equal to the effort of the big Hungarian and saved superbly.

France didn’t create many chances after the goal, and the game looked to be petering out before the fourth official indicated a minimum of three minutes of added time. France’s ears pricked up, and they were finally starting to play some good football and get the ball into the Hungarian box. Hungary’s defence seemed to be a bit nervous, possibly hearing that Mexico had grabbed a winner against China with only minutes remaining.

France forced a corner in the 2nd minute of added time, which was met superbly by the captain Frederic Duplus, and he headed into the corner of the net leaving Gulacsi with no chance.

It was heartbreak for Hungary, but elation for Mexico who had beaten China 2-1 in Marquet. France didn’t really care about the draw as they were already through top of the group, but the spirit they showed to get the late goal was superb.

After the game Newcastle and Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar said; “Everyone is obviously disappointed, and we thought we did enough to get through to the semi-finals but it wasn’t to be. We played a very good match today, and we can look to the future with hope.”

French coach also praised the Hungarians saying “It was a very balanced encounter. The Hungarians played a good game. We did not produce many chances, but we stayed organized and didn’t concede too many opportunities ourselves. We now look forward semi-final against Italy who are very solid defensively, they have the winning culture. It will be a great match.”

France will face Italy in Mayol tomorrow at 8pm local time, while Mexico face Colombia at 5.30pm local time in the other semi-final.

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