The French got hot, but not burnt – European Championship 2020 – Kommersant

The French national team unexpectedly failed to defeat the Hungarians in the second round of the group stage of the European Football Championship, ending the match in a draw – 1: 1. In Budapest, she faced desperate resistance from the home team and was even forced to recoup, losing 0: 1 after the first half. As a result, the world champions and finalists of the last Euros, having gained four points, postponed the official entry into the playoffs.

Following the reigning European champions, the Hungarian national team, which found itself in Group F between three fires, faced the next tough test – this time the world champions. With the Portuguese, she resisted until the 84th minute, but in the end it still crumbled and lost 0: 3. In the match with the French, who at the start of the Euro gave almost nothing to the Germans, she even more so had no chance to stay afloat, especially for so long. How could the Hungarians keep the front line of the French team of Kylian Mbappé, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann? No way. And in general, almost everything depended on how much Didier Deschamps’ wards themselves want to score. At the same time, the likelihood that they would miss was zero, even if the Germans had received a “biscuit”.

Somewhere the owners even acted in a provocative manner, trying to piss off the French stars.

They put Benjamin Pavar on a yellow card and earned several “standards”. But they could not extract something significant from this starting activity.

The guests looked closely at the opponent for about ten minutes, and then began to unwind their attacks. Goalkeeper Peter Gulachi rescued the Hungarian national team after hitting Benzema and even parried the finishing move of Griezmann, who was offside. Mbappe hit his head twice, somehow peeling off in the penalty area from the guardians who were tightly holding him. It became very difficult for the Hungarians, moreover, in the 30-degree heat, it seems that their captain Adam Salai baked them, who collapsed onto the lawn in the middle of the first half and could not continue the match.

Was obliged to score Benzema when Mbappe threw the ball to him in the area of ​​the 11-meter mark, but the striker of Real Madrid missed the target. Then Mbappe, having gathered four opponents around him in the penalty area, tore them apart with feints and hit next to the post. The French had an overwhelming advantage. It seemed that they were about to squeeze the situation, but the unimaginable happened. In stoppage time of the first half, a rather simple combination of the hosts unexpectedly stumped the defense of the world champions, famous for its reliability. Left-back Attila Fiola played a wall with Roland Schallai, ran away from Pavar and Rafael Varan, who was insuring him, insolently climbed to the goal and, like Mbappe, calmly dealt with the goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. But Fiola is by no means Mbappe, and he scored only the second goal for the national team, and for the first time he distinguished himself quite recently in the qualifying meeting of the 2022 World Cup with modest Andorra. And it costs, according to Transfermarkt, only € 700 thousand.

What an explosion of emotions this goal caused in the stands and the fact that Hungary won the first half of the meeting against France is difficult to convey in words.

The Hungarians clearly caught the courage and in the second half did not step back with the whole team, which seemed to be quite logical. And the French, frankly, looked rather pale, although Deschamps before the break and, most likely, thunder and lightning thundered in the locker room. Then he decided to heat up his team with a replacement and actually released the fourth striker – Usman Dembele. The Barcelona forward immediately sharpened the game and shook the frame of the goal. However, as it turned out, this action on his part was one-off, and as a result, Dembele was also replaced.

And yet the French team won back. Mbappe rammed the Hungarian defense, and his cross from the right reached Griezmann, who in the 66th minute drove the ball into the net, reminding him that he was the top scorer of the last Euro with six goals. But a draw did not suit the French, and above all from a reputation point of view. Well, the grandee should not lose points in such matches. But the owners were not going to give back what they had acquired with back-breaking labor. Shallai even tried to repeat the feat of Fiola, but Lloris coped with his blow, which dampened the ricochet a little.

True, for the Hungarians, again, everything could end on a minor note, as in the meeting with the Portuguese. At about the same fateful 84th minute, they almost missed their luck. Mbappe presented himself with such a moment, which in training he probably implements in dozens with his eyes closed. Penalty, the ball is on his foot, the defender does not interfere, there is one goalkeeper in front … The PSG striker put all his strength into the blow and landed directly on Gulachi, who did not guess and just stood there. Is that still Varane in the last seconds could snatch victory for the French after a hinged transfer, but, like his partners in many previous episodes, he missed.

No one doubted that Deschamps’ team would score six points and advance to the playoffs.

However, the Hungarians, according to the French specialist, said after the final whistle, played “the match of their lives.” On the other hand, even four points almost guarantee the world champions to reach the 1/8 finals, and in the next meeting with the Portuguese they can also improve their standings by winning Group F.

Alexander Ilyin



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