UEFA Nations League: Hungary beat Germany, England relegated

Adam Szalai of Hungary celebrates their side's win after the final whistle of the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Germany and Hungary at Red Bull Arena on September 23, 2022 in Leipzig, Germany.

A superb first-half stiletto kick from striker Adam Szalai gave Hungary a 1-0 away win over Germany during their Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Nations League group match at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena on Friday.

The win cemented Hungary’s position on top of the group standings, with the unbeaten side only needing a draw in their final match away against Italy to secure top spot.

Playing his second-last game before retiring from international football, striker Szalai gave Hungary the lead after 17 minutes.

Szalai, who plies his trade at Swiss side Basel after a career which took him to five different Bundesliga sides, won Hungary a corner, forcing an intervention from Real Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger.

Leipzig midfielder boomeranged the corner goalwards, before Szalai skillfully clipped the ball into the net with his heel.

Germany had just one chance in the first half when Bayern forward Thomas Mueller leapt high to meet Leipzig wing-back David Raum’s cross, but the ball was headed directly at Hungary keeper Peter Gulacsi.

The loss was Germany’s first under former Bayern manager Hansi Flick, who had won nine and drawn four of his previous 13 games in charge.

Meanwhile, Italy ensured England will finish their Nations League campaign in last place with a 68th-minute goal from Giacomo Raspadori giving them a 1-0 home win over Gareth Southgate’s team.

Napoli striker Raspadori decided an otherwise uninspiring encounter with a superb second half strike at the San Siro to keep the European champions two points behind group leaders Hungary.

“England suffered the embarrassment of relegation for the first time ever; for the first time since they first played an international 150 years ago,” sports writer Jason Burt wrote in a commentary published by The Telegraph.

“It is now 450 minutes since they scored in open play – the longest spell in 22 years – and they could not find a way through against Italy’s three center-halves (aged 35, 34 and 31 respectively),” Burt continued.

UEFA Nations League match results on September 24

League A Group 3: Germany 0-1 Hungary, Italy 1-0 England

League B Group 3: Finland 1-1 Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 Montenegro

League C Group 4: Bulgaria 5-1 Gibraltar, Georgia 2-0 North Macedonia

League D Group 2: Estonia 2-1 Malta

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