Home » ‘Dark horses’ Hungary suffer opening Euro 2024 defeat to impressive Switzerland

‘Dark horses’ Hungary suffer opening Euro 2024 defeat to impressive Switzerland

‘Dark horses’ Hungary suffer opening Euro 2024 defeat to impressive Switzerland

Switzerland claimed a 3-1 victory over Hungary with the help of a tactical masterclass on Saturday that could be crucial for progressing from the Euro 2024 group stage.

Michel Aebischer set up the first from Kwadwo Duah in the 12th minute and then struck himself at the end of the first half. It was the first international goal for both players who were named as surprise starters by coach Murat Yakin.

Hungary pulled one back from Barnabas Varga in the 66th in an improved second half under the eyes of their Prime Minister Viktor Orban as part of the 47,000-strong crowd. But substitute Breel Embolo wrapped up matters for the Swiss in stoppage time.

Switzerland had upset then world champions France to reach the quarter-finals of the last Euros in 2021, and Saturday’s success put them level on three points with hosts Germany, who had routed Scotland 5-1 in the tournament opener in Group A.

The Swiss next meet Scotland next while Germany face Hungary. Germany and Switzerland will be assured of a place in the last 16 if they win their games, before they meet in the June 23 group finale. Third-place finishers also have a chance to advance.

“It was brutally important to start with a victory,” player of the match Granit Xhaka from German double winners Bayer Leverkusen told Swiss broadcasters SRG.” We deserved the victory.

Duah said he was “still dreaming” after scoring his first goal in just his second international appearance, while Yakin added that “we always have the form players on the pitch. Aebischer had a super season with Bologna.”

Hungary coach Marco Rossi conceded that “we had expected a different Switzerland” and that his team could not cope with the constant position changes of Aebischer and others. “It was better in the second half but by then we were in a fine mess.”

Roland Sallai fired over for Hungary early on but it was the Swiss who drew first blood in the 12th minute.

Aebischer’s defence-splitting pass found Duah who kept his calm to slot home past goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, in only his second cap after being preferred over Embolo in the starting 11 by coach Murat Yakin.

Celebrations were a little delayed because the offside flag initially went up before a video review revealed the forward from Bulgaria’s Ludogorez was onside.

Hungary, led by Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai were rattled, and it should have been 2-0 in the 20th when Bournemouth’s Milos Kerkez played a terrible back pass which Ruben Vargas intercepted but his effort was saved by Gulacsi.

Hungary should have eventually done better when Willi Orban headed right into the arms of goalkeeper Yann Sommer, and they were punished shortly after when Bologna’s Aebischer had plenty of space to curl into the bottom right corner from outside the area for 2-0.

Hungary stepped up their efforts after the break ad got a lifeline when Varga sneaked in front of a defender at the back post to convert Szoboszlai’s cross with a glancing header.

That set up a lively finale with chances on either side, with the better end for the Swiss when Orban’s intended header back to Gulacsi was ill-timed and chased down by Embolo who lobbed into the net.