UEFA Euro 2020 has been as intriguing as it has been predictable up to this point with there being very few legitimate shocks, in terms of results, to happen in the tournament thus far. As such, the weekend served as a welcome surprise when Hungary were able to hold world champions France to a thrilling 1-1 draw that left Group F as wide open as its ever been.
The noise of Budapest
The people of Budapest packed out the stadium in Hungary on Saturday with over 60,000 being in attendance to watch their side compete. It was the definition of a hostile atmosphere for a France side who, in many ways, wasn’t expected to be quite as fearful as they turned out. The noise that radiated around the stadium was deafening, to the point where it felt like one of the loudest crowds we’ve ever heard. That may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s true.
Nobody ever really knows the direction that underdogs are going to go in at a tournament like this but when you get a result as surprising as this one, it should come as no shock whatsoever that the ripple effect it can have in terms of motivation is incredibly widespread. The final set of group stage games are almost upon us and even though there are a few sides that can no longer progress from the group, many will give everything they’ve got in the hope of progressing this week.
Les Bleus in trouble?
Writing France off after one bad result would be silly but right now, there’s only one country that seems to be consistently thriving at the Euros and that’s Italy. Les Bleus did well to beat Germany but they really let their guard down in a big way during this game, and even though that’s bound to happen within the context of international football from time to time, it still can’t mask over the fact that they’re supposed to be the leading contenders to win the whole thing. If they’re going to do so, they have to make a statement against Portugal in the final group game.
Hungary: Gulacsi (7), Szalai (6.5), Orban (5.5), Botka (6.5), Fiola (7), Schafer (6.5), Nagy (6.5), Kleinheisler (7), Nego (6), Sallai (7), Szalai (6), Cseri (6), Lovrencsics (6), Nikolic (6)
France: Lloris (6.5), Pavard (6.5), Varane (6.5), Kimpembe (6.5), Digne (7), Pogba (6.5), Kante (7.5), Rabiot (6.5), Griezmann (8), Benzema (7), Mbappe (7), Dembele (6.5), Tolisso (6.5), Lemar (6), Giroud (6)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Goals: Fiola :: Griezmann
Yellow Cards: Botka, Pavard
Red Cards: N/A