Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Friendly: Hungary stun Azzurri

22 August 2007: Hungary 3-1 Italy (Budapest)
Hungary produced a stunning second-half display, scoring three times to turn around a one-goal deficit against world champions Italy in Budapest.

The Azzurri took the lead through Antonio Di Natale after 49 minutes but Roland Juhasz equalised 12 minutes later, before a Zoltan Gera penalty and a Robert Seczesin strike settled matters in the hosts' favour.

Italy started with plenty of attacking intent with Andrea Pirlo's free-kick calling home goalkeeper Márton Fülöp into action early on. Hungary offered their first threat on nine minutes but Gera shot wide from close range when faced with Gianluigi Buffon. The home side came close again five minutes later as Balazs Dzsudzsak's shot from the edge of the area clipped the right-hand post.

Fulop distinguished himself again after 27 minutes when he denied Alessandro Del Piero from ten yards but despite looking fragile at the back, Hungary were still troubling Italy on the break and only a fine save from Buffon prevented youngster Ádám Vass heading in seven minutes before the break.

Italy opened the scoring four minutes into the second half when Alberto Aquilani played in Di Natale who finished well. However, the lead was short-lived as Juhasz equalised from close range after being left unmarked inside the area. Gera then put Hungary ahead five minutes later from the penalty spot after Fabio Cannavaro had felled Tamas Priskin.

Filippo Inzaghi almost levelled with 16 minutes to go but shot over the bar and that proved to be a critical miss as Hungary grabbed a third with a fine team move culminating in substitute Seczesin slotting past Buffon. It could have been worse for Roberto Donadoni's men had Buffon not pulled off a fine save in added time to keep out Seczesin's 25-metre drive.

Hungary: Fulop; Szelesi, Vasko, Juhasz, Vanczak (Czisimadia 73); Hajnal (Filkor 59), Vass, Tozser (Leandro 59); Priskin (Feczesin 73); Gera, Dzsudzsak (Halmosi 82).
Italy: Buffon; Oddo (Grosso 46), Cannavaro, Materazzi (Barzagli 46), Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Pirlo; Quagliarella, Aquilani (Palombo 66), Del Piero (Di Natale 46); Toni (Inzaghi 46).
Ref: Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain).

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