Hungary’s victory over Italy could be judged as the first real upset of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship as they beat Italy 4-3 at Harrogate Town FC’s Wetherby Road stadium.
A lively game in wet conditions produced some fine passing and excellent chances for both sides. In the first half Hungary’s Jozsef Kanta missed a great chance and Italy’s Francesco Lodi hit the underside of the bar.
Italy were caught off-guard when Kanta opened the scoring in the 20th minute following a mistake by Italy keeper Andrea Ivaldi. Lodi evened the score ten minutes later with a terrific left-foot volley from the edge of the box. However Hungary caught them on the break just before half-time with a cool move and finish by Zsolt Müller.
Excellent second half
An excellent second half produced end-to-end excitement with Hungary extending their lead to 3-1 with a superb free-kick from Kanta. Italy then chased the game and drew level with another left-foot strike by Lodi and a third from Atalanta BC’s Gianpaolo Pazzini. But Hungary stole it in the 76th minute with a goal on the counterattack by substitute Mihály Horvath.
'We are thrilled'
Hungary coach Mihály Ubrankovics said: "We are thrilled with this result and feel we are improving as the tournament progresses. It was a wonderful performance by my team against top Italian opposition."