- 28 Sep 2017 6:00 AM
Having been drawn in the same World Cup qualification group as 2016 Olympic runners-up Sweden, this summer’s European Championship runners-up Denmark, as well as Ukraine and Croatia, Hungary’s women were seen as being up against it as they bid to qualify for their first-ever major tournament.
Their opening match saw them take on Denmark at a rain-swept Gyirmót, with Edina Markó unable to call upon the services of Dóra Zeller and Lilla Sipos.
Hungary began bravely, almost taking a fourth minute lead when Henrietta Csiszár’s shot being saved by Stina Lykke Pedersen in the Denmark goal after she’d been set-up by Fanni Vágó. The visitors were soon on the front foot though, the Hungarian defence not short of work as they sought to protect Barbara Bíró’s goal as Nadia Nadim and Katrine Veje came closest for the Danes.
Denmark eventually breached the Hungarian rearguard in the 27th minute, Pernille Harder adjudged to have been brought down in the box by Szilvia Szeitl and Nadim dispatching the resultant penalty award. Hungary continued to threaten as the half wore on though, and got their just reward four minutes before half-time.
Zsanett Jakabfi produced a wonderful piece of skill to create space to shoot – almost deserving of a goal in itself – only to see her shot saved by Pedersen. From the ensuing corner though, Hungary too would be awarded a penalty, Csiszár being nudged of the ball and Jakabfi levelling from the spot.
Denmark though, replied almost immediately, right-winger Sanne Troelsgaard rifling home a fine 25-yard drive into the corner of the net as the visitors went in 2-1 to the good at the break.
Denmark dominated the second half, increasing their lead to 3-1 through team captain Pernille Harder on the counter-attack in the 55th minute. Troelsgaard then bagged her second of the evening in the 67th, duly completing her hat-trick seven minutes later as the visitors raced 5-1 ahead. Indeed, the margin of victory could have been greater had it not been for a number of saves from Barbara Bíró in goal, Denmark carving out chance after chance before substitute Nicoline Sørensen eventually completed the scoring with two minutes remaining.
“I was happy with how we played in the first half; for forty five minutes we held our own, but then unfortunately it showed that currently we can only manage half a game playing at such a level” said head coach Edina Markó after the match. “If we’d sat in and defended deep in the second half the margin of defeat would have been less but we have to recognise that the Danes are way ahead of us. Based on the first half, the girls believed we might have gotten something from the game; we tried to be more attacking but left space for the Danes which they took advantage of, creating numerous scoring chances which they finished clinically”.
Hungary 1-6 Denmark (1-2)
Hungary: Barbara Bíró – Alexandra Tóth (Zoé Magyarics 59’), Tálosi Szabina, Szilvia Szeitl, Viktória Szabó – Zsófia Rácz, Evelin Fenyvesi (Diána Csányi 75’) – Evelin Mosdóczi, Henrietta Csiszár, Zsanett Jakabfi – Fanni Vágó (Loretta Németh 87’)
Denmark: Petersen – Nielsen, Arnth, Larsen, Røddik (Thøgersen 72’) – Kildemoes (Christiansen 46’), Junge Pedersen – Troelsgaard, Harder, Veje – Nadim (Sørensen 81’)
Goalscorers: HUN: Jakabfi (41’ penalty); DEN: Nadim (27’ penalty), Troelsgaard (41’, 67’, 74’), Harder (55’), Sørensen 88’)