Report as France struggle in Budapest cauldron; Attila Fiola gave Hungary shock lead in the first-half stoppage time, before Antoine Griezmann levelled in second half
Saturday 19 June 2021 19:14, UK
Tournament favourites France were held to a surprise 1-1 draw against Hungary in their second Euro 2020 Group F game in Budapest.
France missed two big chances to take the lead through Kylian Mbappe's header and Karim Benzema's sliced effort wide, but Hungary stunned the world champions through Attila Fiola's finish having been put through on goal (45+2), sending the home crowd into raptures.
In a cauldron atmosphere in Budapest, France levelled on 66 minutes through Antoine Griezmann, finishing up at close range after Mbappe had held up Hugo Lloris' long kick upfield.
They could not grab a winner, and the result means France have four points after two games, which should be enough to make the last 16 as they finish their group stage against Portugal on Wednesday, while Hungary, on one point, must beat Germany in their final game in Munich.
Hungary: Gulacsi (7), Botka (6), Orban (7), Attila Szalai (7), Nego (7), Kleinheisler (8), Nagy (7), Schafer (6), Fiola (8), Sallai (7), Adam Szalai (6)
Subs: Nikolics (7), Cseri (NA), Lovrencsics (NA)
France: Lloris (6), Pavard (5), Varane (5), Kimpembe (6), Digne (6), Kante (6), Pogba (5), Rabiot (5), Griezmann (6), Benzema (6), Mbappe (7)
Subs: Dembele (5), Tolisso (NA), Giroud (NA), Lemar (NA)
Man of the match: Laszlo Kleinheisler
Hungary started intensely in the blistering heat of Budapest, cheered on by a full house as the Puskas Arena, but were leaving gaps in defence.
Mbappe came within inches of opening the scoring, running onto Lucas Digne's wicked left-wing cross to head just wide of Peter Gulacsi's left-hand post, before Mbappe's superb flick set up a big chance for Benzema, only for the forward to slice wide from 12 yards out.
France were moving through the gears and pinning Hungary back as the first half wore on, but the hosts took a shock lead in stoppage time through Fiola.
Benjamin Pavard was slow on the turn as Fiola latched onto Roland Sallai's touch behind the French defence, and under pressure from Raphael Varane, the Hungary right-back slotted low into the bottom right corner past Lloris.
Fiola's opener for Hungary was the first time France had conceded in six matches in all competitions, ending a run of 527 minutes of play without shipping a goal.
Didier Deschamps brought on Ousmane Dembele for Adrien Rabiot early in the second half, and though the Barcelona forward struck the outside of the post from just inside the box moments after arriving, Hungary continued to frustrate France.
But for all the talk of France's attractive style of play, the leveller was route one. The quick-thinking Hugo Lloris' long punt upfield was held up brilliantly by Mbappe, and his centre deflected off Willi Orban to fall kindly to Griezmann to sweep home from eight yards.
It was Griezmann's seventh goal at the Euros; only Cristiano Ronaldo (11) and Michel Platini (9) have more.
Hungary made one change as Nego came in for Lovrencsics after impressing with his sub appearance against Portugal.
France also made just one change, at left-back, as Digne came in for Hernandez.
Mbappe struck a powerful left-footed effort straight at Gulacsi with 10 minutes to go, found clear on the left of the box by substitute Olivier Giroud's clever touch, and France again came close in stoppage time as Varane headed wide from six yards.
Hungary were given little hope before the game, but cheered on by their vociferous support, the hosts opened 'The Group of Death' up by grabbing the point.
The Hungary international ran himself into the ground in Budapest on Saturday lunch time, covering every single blade of grass at the Puskas Arena to help his side to a famous and deserved draw with France.
In baking temperatures in the Hungarian capital, the Osijek midfielder played a crucial role in helping stop the world champions' five-match winning run in major tournaments.
And little wonder the 27-year-old looked utterly exhausted when being substituted to a standing ovation from the home fans with six minutes to go.
Hungary boss Marco Rossi: "My team played an exceedingly good tactical match, and carried out their business with the correct amount of bravery and heart. I can only thank them. Nowadays, many coaches are convinced that the team wins because of the coach's tactics. They're wrong. The players are always the lead characters. Today they performed. It was unimaginable."
France boss Didier Deschamps: "Hungary put on the match of their lives. Good for them! It's a point. It's obviously not what we hoped for but, given the context, we will take it anyway.
"I'm satisfied - I'm not overjoyed with the result, but I'm satisfied. We didn't lose, we do have a point to add to the three we have in the bag already. I think this still leaves the door open for us to have a little bit of leeway for the third game."
France's final Group F game comes against Portugal on Wednesday evening at 8pm, while Hungary face Germany at the same time.