Euro 2020: Determined Hungary holds France to a 1-1 draw

The result puts France on four points to provisionally top the group until Portugal plays bottom side Germany later on Saturday, while Hungary is third with a point.

Hungary's Attila Fiola (right) celebrates with teammate Nemanja Nikolic after scoring his sides first goal during the Euro 2020 group F match between Hungary and France at the Ferenc Puskas stadium in Budapest.   -  AP

Antoine Greizmann rescued a point for world champion France as it came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with host Hungary in Group F and prevent a massive upset in front of a full house at the Puskas Arena on Saturday.

Attila Fiola had given the host a dream half-time lead after France missed a bevvy of early chances.

But Greizmann equalised in the 66th minute to move France onto four points while Hungary kept up its slim hopes, on one point, in a group where it had been given little chance with heavyweights Germany and Portugal also in the mix.

READ: UEFA Euro 2020 Hungary vs France Highlights

A heaving, 65,000-strong, mainly Hungarian crowd, the likes of which has not been seen at football since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, willed their side to a share of the points in the summer sun even if they were largely outplayed.

Greizmann finished with a powerful shot but at the end of an uncharacteristic move from the French, who for all their midfield guile and panache needed a Route One kick upfield from their goalkeeper to fashion their equaliser.

France had three gilt-edged chances in the first half which its much-vaunted attack would have been expected to finish.

READ: EURO 2020: Points table, goals scored, goal difference

Peter Gulasci made a double save from Karim Benzema and Griezmann inside the opening quarter-hour and then watched in relief as Kylian Mbappe headed over the top from metres out after Benzema had teed him up in the 17th minute.

It looked a matter of time before Les Bleus would break the deadlock but when Mbappe returned the favour to Benzema just after the half-hour mark, he contrived to hit a disappointing shot wide when it seemed easier to score.

France's profligacy was then punished at the end of the half as wingback Fiola collected a cross-field pass from Adam Nagy, played a one-two with Roland Sallai and outpaced the French defence to coolly side-foot home a goal met with a rapturous response from the ecstatic crowd.

Little had gone for Hungary up to that point, losing skipper Adam Szalai to injury in the first half.

READ: UEFA Euro 2020 LIVE score Portugal vs Germany

It took until the 66th minute for the equaliser. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris kicked the ball down the middle from his penalty box, which the Hungarian defence let bounce for Mbappe to reach first with his frightening pace. His square ball was barely intercepted by Willi Orban, whose effort to clear only contrived to tee up a close-in finish for Griezmann.

Hungary next faces Germany in Munich on Wednesday while Portugal and France play in Budapest at the same time.

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