MATCH picks out five talking points from England’s World Cup qualifying clash with Hungary at Wembley!
MORE PENALTY WOES!
‘England’ and ‘penalties’ are two words that don’t often go well together! It was from a penalty shootout that The Three Lions lost the Euro 2020 final at Wembley to Italy, and it was from the spot that they fell behind against Hungary in their qualifier! There were some complaints from Luke Shaw, but his foot was high and it would’ve been a foul anywhere else on the pitch…
When England were looking for a goal to bring them level, one of the last players we expected to score it was John Stones! Before the game against Hungary, he’d scored just two goals in an England shirt – against Panama at the 2018 World Cup. His equaliser was his first goal for his nation for over three years, and his first-ever goal for England at Wembley!
The England captain has had a really slow start to the season! Last season’s top Premier League goalscorer and assist maker failed to bust net or assist once in his first six league appearances for Tottenham this campaign – and looked a shadow of his normal self against Hungary! He only had 19 touches of the ball before his substitution – fewer than any other outfield team-mate. In fact, the next lowest on the list was Raheem Sterling on 45 touches!
MOTM: PAPER PLANES!
If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, it wasn’t the most entertaining match we’ve ever seen! In the second-half, England supporters actually resorted to making paper airplanes and throwing them from the stands, cheering if any of them managed to make it all the way on to the pitch! It probably doesn’t say too much about the levels of excitement being offered by the players though…
England couldn’t have qualified for the 2022 World Cup whatever happened against Hungary! The Three Lions need four points from their final two qualifiers in November to top the group. However, one win could also be enough, with England’s goal difference currently superior to second-placed Poland’s. Basically, something serious has got to happen for Southgate’s side not to qualify as winners of Group I!