Gareth Southgate couldn’t explain England’s poor performance when the Three Lions drew 1-1 with Hungary at Wembley.
England remain on track for World Cup qualifiers despite stumbling into a disappointing draw on a night when Hungary was again disappointed by some of their fans.
The undefeated Southgate side are well on their way to winning Group I as only the Albania and San Marino games remain en route to Qatar next month.
But an exciting looking English team fought Hungary. John Stones equalized Roland Sallai’s penalty in a mild 1-1 draw under the Wembley arch.
This qualification will be remembered more for what happened off the pitch than it was on the pitch, just a month after racist abuse that overshadowed the two teams’ meeting in Budapest.
FIFA has ordered Hungary to play two home games behind closed doors, one of which will be suspended for two years as there will be penalties and other sanctions after Tuesday’s game.
– England (@England) October 12, 2021
One night when a banner was displayed in the away area against players who took the knee, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that a spectator was arrested for a racially aggravated public order violation for comments addressed to a steward.
Police clashed with Hungarian fans and appeared to be pushed back into the hall at the beginning of the first half, with the football association promising to investigate the incident and report it to FIFA.
Southgate blames the collective
But when he talked about his team’s post-game performance, Southgate said ITV sports: “Disappointing. Power. Kudos to Hungary, they caused us a tactical problem and we were not fluent. We haven’t played at the level we need, it’s as simple as that. Difficult to locate and we’ll look at the balance of the team. We made simple mistakes with the ball.
“We have to go away and think and shouldn’t judge things by a game and this experiment. Right from the start we weren’t keen on the game, we gave the ball away and we were overdone. For the first time in a long time, we have to hold up our hands today.
“I don’t think we should look at individuals, we didn’t play at the level we needed together.”
When asked why England weren’t quite there, Declan Rice added: “You could say it’s bad because we drew but dominated the game. Silly penalty to be given away, but we got back into the game and couldn’t get that killer touch.
“Sometimes you have to give your opponent credit, Hungary was much better than when we played away. I still think we did enough to win the game. “
About playing alongside Mason Mount and Phil Foden: “This is the first time that the three of us have played together. We know what the manager is asking of us and we have to implement that on the pitch. “
As a punishment: “If you put your foot that high, it could be. But the way it went down was a bit pathetic. “
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