England were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw against Hungary in their World Cup Qualifier.
Holding midfielder Declan Rice has stated that it was difficult for England’s attacking players to create chances against a defensively solid Hungary team. However, he lamented the lack of “killer touch” which prevented the home side from getting the win. It all started when Luke Shaw was judged to have caught Loic Nego with a high boot, handing the visitors a penalty. Hungary took a shock lead, as Roland Sallai made no mistake in dispatching the penalty before John Stones equalised shortly after. Despite possessing a plethora of attacking talent, England were not able to build on that equaliser and find a winner.
Rice told ITV: “You can say it [performance] was poor because we drew the game, but we dominated. It was a silly penalty to give away, but it was good to get back into the game. We had to keep our heads, had to keep playing, we just couldn’t find that killer touch at the end to get the win.”
“Sometimes you have to give credit to how hard the opposition are. Hungary were much better than they were when we played them away. They were really tight, really compact, worked really hard and when you’re playing against low blocks, it’s hard for our attacking players to create stuff, but I still think we did enough to win the game.
“When you put your foot up that high, it always could be, but the way he went down was a bit pathetic if I’m honest. If you put your foot up that high in the box, it can always be a penalty, but I’m going to say it’s not.”
Later, Shaw, speaking about the penalty call, explained: “For me, it is soft. I don’t know what else I can do in that situation, I was clearly first to the ball and I cleared the ball.”
“It looked like he wasn’t even going for the ball, I think he just knew my foot was a bit high so he just dived at my foot and rolled around like he had been shot.
“He got what he wanted and it is disappointing from the ref. That is my opinion and I think he was wrong. Sometimes silly decisions can turn the whole game completely on its head, a silly decision that could go either way.”
Meanwhile, Hungary manager Marco Rossi has praised his players for following the tactics till the end of the match. He added: “The guys followed the tactics from the beginning to the end and they put in something by themselves – their skills and their hearts. We were a bit lucky but we found an English team that was not properly on its best evening. If I’m not wrong, this is the first time Hungary take points from Wembley after the 6-3 [in 1953].”
The result means England need four points from their final two games against Albania and San Marino to qualify as Group I winners.