Hungary drew level on points with second-placed Sweden in Group E after
snatching a late winner over the Scandinavian side in their Euro 2012 qualifier
in Budapest tonight.
The clash had looked set to finish in a draw after Christian Wilhelmsson's
60th-minute goal cancelled out Imre Szabics' opener for Hungary just before
However, there was to be a late twist in the tale as Hungary, who missed an
early penalty through Tamas Hajnal, claimed the points when Gergely Rudolf
netted a 90th-minute clincher.
Hungary and Sweden now both have 15 points in Group E, although the latter have
played a game less. Holland lead the way with a 100% record.
Sweden had netted nine times in their previous two qualifiers against Finland
and Moldova and they came closest to breaking the deadlock first tonight when
Zlatan Ibrahimovic tried his luck in the sixth minute, his effort going wide.
Andreas Granqvist then sent a header wide from Kim Kallstrom's free-kick before
Hungary earned themselves a great chance to take the lead after being awarded a
Oscar Wendt was penalised for a handball inside the area but the visitors were
let off the hook as Hajnal's resulting spot-kick hit the crossbar.
Sweden looked determined to make the most of that escape and they came within a
whisker of taking the lead in the 26th minute when Johan Elmander's shot hit the
Elmander saw another effort go over before Kallstrom's 25-yard kick was tipped
around the post by Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly.
It would be Hungary celebrating a half-time lead, however, as Szabics got on
the end of Rudolf's pass to slot past Andreas Isaksson.
That 44th-minute goal was the perfect way for Hungary to end the first half,
and they looked set to build on that momentum at the start of the second period
with Isaksson being called on to deny Rudolf and Hajnal in quick succession.
Sweden were creating chances of their own again soon enough, though, and after
Ibrahimovic had brought a save from Kiraly, the visitors equalised when
Wilhelmsson tucked home Elmander's pass.
Sweden pushed for a winner but they would end up empty-handed after Rudolf
struck for Hungary in the 90th minute, the striker firing into the roof of the
net from close range following a cross from Tamas Priskin.