England held 1-1 by Hungary in match marred by crowd violence

England is still strong favourites to win the group, but has left itself work to do after a display described as disappointing by coach Gareth Southgate.

John Stones and Raheem Sterling celebrate after scoring against Hungary on Tuesday.   -  REUTERS

England took another, somewhat faltering, step towards 2022 World Cup qualification when it drew 1-1 with Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday as it is now three points clear at the top of Group I with two matches remaining.

The game was marred by fighting in the stands between Hungary fans and baton-wielding police just after kickoff, with riot police entering the fray as visiting supporters forced stewards and police back down a tunnel.

The game was marred by fighting in the stands between Hungary fans and baton-wielding police just after kickoff.   -  AP

 

On the pitch, the visitors went ahead with a Roland Sallai penalty after 24 minutes after England fullback Luke Shaw caught a stooping Loci Nego in the head as he attempted a clearance.

England equalised in the 37th minute when a Phil Foden free kick was flicked on by Tyrone Mings and the ball was turned in by John Stones from close range.

"You can say it's poor because we drew the game but we dominated. Silly penalty to give away but we got back into the game and could not get that killer touch," said England midfielder Declan Rice.

"You have to give credit to the opposition sometimes. Hungary were much better than when we played them away."

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England was packed with attacking talent but failed to impose themselves on a team it beat 4-0 in Budapest last month and created few further chances against the battling visitors.

The result left England top of the group on 20 points ahead of Poland, which beat Albania (15 points) 1-0 away in another match hit by crowd trouble.

England is still strong favourites to win the group via their remaining games against Albania and San Marino next month, but has left itself work to do after a display described as disappointing by coach Gareth Southgate.

"Hungary, full credit to them. I thought they caused us a tactical problem. We weren’t fluid and I didn’t think we played at the level that we need to play," he said.

"We’ll go away and think about the balance of the team a little bit but I think individually we can do better as well.

"We made lots of simple mistakes with the ball. I think right across the board from the start we weren’t sharp with our play, gave the ball away, we were overrunning things.

"So I just think that we were underneath it. It’s the first time for a long time but we have to hold our hands up to that."

Hungary, in fourth place on 11 points, needs a miracle to have a chance of snatching second place and a playoff berth but still celebrated Tuesday's point as if it had won the World Cup.

Results - European World Cup Qualifiers

1. Ukraine 1-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

2. Kosovo 1-2 Georgia

3. Lithuania 0-2 Switzerland

4. Sweden 2-0 Greece

5. Serbia 3-1 Azerbaijan

6. Faroe Islands 0-1 Scotland

7. Israel 2-1 Moldova

8. Albania 0-1 Poland

9. England 1-1 Hungary

10. Denmark 1-0 Austria

11. Bulgaria 2-1 Northern Ireland

12. San Marino 0-3 Andorra

13. Portugal 5-0 Luxembourg

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