Hungary’s last-minute strike eliminates Scotland

Kevin Csoboth scoring the winner (Image: Euro 2024)/ Hungary team celebrating with Varga’s jersey (Image: Euro 2024)

The stakes were high as both teams aimed to keep their hopes alive in Euro 2024. Scotland were in a slightly better position, having drawn 1-1 against Switzerland following a devastating 1-5 defeat to Germany. Hungary, on the other hand, entered the match without a point, having lost 1-3 to Switzerland and 0-2 to Germany.

This first competitive encounter between the two sides was one to remember, filled with immense drama for the fans in Stuttgart. Hungary had the final laugh, thanks to Kevin Csoboth’s 100th-minute strike, which eliminated Scotland just seconds before the end.

Scotland began their crucial Group A match with determination, dominating early possession. However, Hungary set a physical tone with early fouls on John McGinn, and Bendeguz Bolla’s long-range shot in the seventh minute tested Scotland’s defence.

The match grew intense with Hungary’s Callum Styles booked in the 17th minute for a foul on McGinn, who was targeted throughout. Hungary began to find their rhythm around the 30th minute, led by their captain, Dominik Szoboszlai. A dangerous free-kick routine saw Willi Orban’s header hit the woodwork, though it was offside.

Despite holding around 70% possession, Scotland failed to test Hungary’s goalkeeper, while Hungary’s counter-attacks looked increasingly threatening. The first half ended 0-0, with Scotland needing to sharpen their attack and Hungary seeking to capitalise on their counter-attacks in the second half.

The second half witnessed even more drama. Both teams started unchanged, and Hungary continued to put pressure on the Scottish goal. In the 67th minute, a free-kick led to a collision between Hungary’s Barnabas Varga and Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn. Varga had to be stretchered off after five minutes of on-field treatment. Later, the Hungary FA announced via BBC that Varga was in a stable condition in the hospital. Kevin Csoboth, a 24-year-old forward from Ujpest FC, replaced him.

Both managers made multiple changes in the final quarter, but the deadlock remained. Scotland’s attack began to take shape, and both sides had chances in open play. With multiple stoppages and injuries, 10 minutes of added time were given. Hungary, needing a win to stay in the tournament, launched several attacks.

Dominik Szoboszlai led Hungary’s efforts in injury time. His powerful shot was saved by Gunn, and minutes later, Csoboth, who had replaced Varga, came close to scoring, hitting the side post. Scotland had a chance in the 97th minute, but Scott McTominay was offside.

The drama peaked in the final minute. Hungarian supporters showed signs of agony with red noses and watery eyes. Scotland had a corner, well defended by Hungary. Szoboszlai started a counter-attack, combining with Sallai on the right flank. Csoboth made a solo run down the middle, received a low cross from Sallai, reached it with a perfectly timed run, and guided it into the bottom left corner, and off came the number 23 shirt.

Kevin Csoboth became a Hungarian hero with seconds to spare, saving his team from elimination and breaking Scottish hearts. The referee blew the final whistle, and celebrations erupted in the Hungarian stands. Angus Gunn couldn’t believe it. Scotland had to hold the score for just 28 more seconds to have a chance of staying in the tournament.

With Germany drawing the other match in the group, they qualified as the Group A toppers, followed by Switzerland and Hungary. Kevin Csoboth’s 100th-minute strike is now officially the latest goal scored in any European Championship (excluding extra-time). The Hungarian team celebrated with Barnabas Varga’s jersey, showing support for their injured teammate.