Hungary 0-1 Portugal 2018 World Cup qualifier: match report, goals, action
Hungary 0-1 Portugal: match report
Portugal sit three points behind Switzerland in Group B after a wholly unconvincing display against a Hungary side that lacked any desire to get back into the game after going down 1-0 in the second half.
The first half was shaping up nicely as Portugal peppered Gulucsi's goal with shots and half chances early on and Hungary looked dangerous on the break. Ronaldo saw an effort tipped over the bar and Soares drove over from close range too.
The momentum that the game was building was brought to an abrupt halt after a half an hour, however, when Tamas Priskin caught Pepe with an unnecessary and obvious elbow to the face with the ball in the air and he received his marching orders, the game took a turn for the worse.
With 10 men, Hungary hung on until half-time but Portugal didn't really force the issue either and were happy to see the opening 45 out before they regrouped and figured out a way to make their advantage count.
It didn't take long in the second half for them to do just that. Ronaldo brought the ball to the endline and crossed to Andre Silva and the AC Milan striker headed home despite having Hungary defenders throwing themselves at him in an effort to keep the ball from going over the line.
That was all she wrote from the Groupama Arena, however, as Hungary played like the were holding onto a draw with 10 men and Portugal knew it would take something extraordinary for them to be broken down. They doubted their opponents' ability to produce that spark and they were right.
Attila Fiola had a header at the death that bounced into Rui Patricio's hands and this was their first attempt on target in the game. It was their last two as the referee called time on a game that lacked any urgency or action once Priskin decided to get himself sent off in the first half.
Hungary vs Portugal live stream online: latest news
Hungary vs Portugal live online: World Cup qualifying preview
Portugal travel to Hungary in need of a victory in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers. Fernando Santos’ team sit in second place in Group B, three points adrift of Switzerland. Portugal took a detour via the play-offs to qualify for the last World Cup in Brazil, and will be eager to avoid the ordeal this time around.
Hungary are in third place in the group, yet with just ten points, qualification for their first festival of football since Mexico ’86 is a distant hope.
Although the two teams played out a rip-roaring 3-3 draw last summer in the European Championship, their last meeting ended in a comfortable 3-0 victory for Portugal in March.
Hungary team news
The Magyars have never beaten Portugal (D4, L8), and this clash in Budapest does not promise a change in fortune.
Bernd Storck's side beat Latvia 3-1 on Thursday, and it was essential that Hungary picked up a positive result. Not because of qualification, but because they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of minnows Andorra in their previous match. The Hungarians were the entertainers of Euro 2016, from their attacking play to their tracksuit-clad 'keeper, Gabor Kiraly. Yet the last year has seen a descent back to mediocrity.
Balázs Dzsudzsák and Zoltán Gera provide experience, with both players closing in on 100 caps for Hungary. In midfield, Adam Nagy of Bologna is a sily operator. At 22, he is likely to be member of the national team for years to come.
Portugal team news
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's pedestrian 5-1 victory over the Faroe Islands on Thursday. In a career sprinkled with hat-tricks, this one was particularly special, as the Real Madrid star edged past Pele's tally of international goals. He now has 78 to his name.
The two Silvas, Andre and Bernardo, will be tasked with creating chances for Ronaldo. While RB Leipzig attacker Bruma is looking for his first cap after impressing in the Bundesliga.
The Portuguese are experienced in defence, despite Bruno Alves' withdrawal through injury. Pepe will play alongside West Ham's José Fonte.
Hungary vs Portugal live stream online: probable line-ups
Hungary XI: Gulácsi; Bese, Guzmics, Kádár, Horhut; Nagy, Pátkai; Varga, Stieber, Dzsudzsák; Szalai.
Head coach: Bernd Storck
Portugal XI: Patrício; Soares, Pepe, Fonte, Eliseu; William Carvalho, Moutinho; Mario, A. Silva, Ronaldo.
Head coach: Fernando Santos
Hungary vs Portugal live stream online: odds and betting
Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't get his second hat-trick in as many games, could he? He's 11/1 to take home the match ball.