Hungary are not the force to be reckoned with in world football these days but still that passion fighting spirit exists and they helped to rock the people present in Budapest during the clash against the World Champions and hot favourites France – the Hungarians stopped the French and shared points in the Group of Death!

The French are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions now, winning the last five on the bounce without conceding a goal. As for Hungary, a late show from Portugal meant they were beaten 3-0 on Tuesday in their first game in the tournament, which ended a run of 11 without defeat in all competitions for the hosts.

Just the one change from Didier Deschamps as well from the Germany game – Digne comes into the side for Hernandez, who drops to the bench.

Marco Rossi makes just one change to the side that started against Portugal – Nego is brought in for Lovrencsics, who starts on the bench. Nagy, who starts in midfield, earns his 50th cap for the national side.

France have only beaten Hungary once in their eight games on Hungarian soil and that was in March 1990 at Budapest’s Nepstadion, including a brace from Eric Cantona.

Didier Deschamps adopted the 4-3-3 shape rather than the diamond one that was talked about a lot before the start of the tournament and in this format, Antoine Griezmann was dropping up down with the intention to create the balance between forward and midfield.

The match was 14 minutes old when Benzema picks up a loose ball 20 yards out and hits a daisy-cutter that was saved by Gulacsi, sprawling to his right. He pushed it straight to Griezmann, who returned the favour by hitting his shot at Gulacsi rather than into the otherwise vacant net.

It was a terrible miss – but it turned out Griezmann was offside, so it wouldn’t have counted had he scored.

Three minutes later, Benzema played a simple pass down the left wing to Digne. He shaped a lovely, precise cross towards Kylian Mbappe, who arrived late and connects with a header that curled just wide of the far post.

Everyone was stunned!

Then Karim Benzema’s short-range, half-volleyed cross is headed over by the stretching Mbappe.

The ball was slightly too high for him to control the header.

A Mbappe free-kick hit the substitute Nikolic straight in the face, knocking him over. He sprung to his feet and starts slapped himself about the coupon to liven himself up.

Griezmann curled the ball into Mbappe, who made another excellent angled run across the area. He controlled the ball on the run then flicked it behind him to Benzema, a brilliant piece of skill.

Benzema ran imperiously onto the bouncing ball but then shins it wide of the near post. That was a great chance, and it was a poor effort.

France broke three on two – Mbappe played the ball square to Benzema, who tried to flick it with the outside of his right foot to the unmarked Griezmann.

It hit the chest of Attila Szalai, whose positioning probably saved a goal.

When Benjamin Pavard pushes the ball into Pogba, who turned Nagy and rifled the ball into the side netting from a ludicrously tight angle; it seemed that a French goal was just around the corner.

But, the story was different.

The game was heading for the stoppage time and Nagy drove a cross-field pass towards Attila Fiola, just inside the France half, who headed that in the infield towards Sallai, collected the return and hurtled away from Pavard towards the penalty area. Varane was on the wrong side and couldn’t challenge him, so Fiola kept going and then slid the ball past Hugo Lloris at the near post – an absolute ripper by Fiola!

Budapest went wild – the spectators were rocking and the noise was unbelievable and the Hungarians celebration was lively enough.

The French were needed to pull up their socks and it was evident that the Hungarians would sit deep and thus the cutting edge was much needed.

France witched to 4-2-3-1 formation since the introduction of Dembele. He is on the right with Mbappe on the left and Griezmann behind Benzema.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Lloris collected a free-kick and hammered the ball straight downfield towards Mbappe. The two Hungarian defenders let the ball bounce and from that moment they were in trouble.

Mbappe muscled Nego aside to take possession on the right side of the area, then moved away from Nego and drove the ball across the face of the goal.

Orban got a slight touch on the ball but could only divert it straight to Griezmann, who slammed it in from close range.

The Hungarian lead was gone and they switched from 3-2-3-2 to a more compact 5-3-2 and toned down the tempo of French attacking intent.

At the fag end of the match, Griezmann’s free-kick was punched away by Gulacsi, then Michael Oliver stops play so that Botka can receive treatment. He was all over Kimpembe, grabbing his shirt, and then went down himself. There’s a VAR check for a France penalty, but the referee let the game go on.

The match ended 1-1 and the hot favourites were stopped.

Gulacsi clenches his fist and screams with delight. He made a vital late save from Kylian Mbappe and ensured Hungary would get a famous draw against the world champions. They worked incredibly hard in sweltering heat and this time, unlike against Portugal, they didn’t fall at the final hurdle.


At the end of the match, the whole team sang the national anthem with the crowd – a patriotic gesture and they hinted that in the Group of Death they would not go down without a fight.

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