Hungary 2-1 Norway (3-1 on aggregate): Hungarians end 30-year wait for a spot at major tournament finals

Tamás Priskin's strike and an unfortunate own goal from Markus Henriksen saw Hungary end their long wait to qualify for a major championship. They secured a comfortable and fully deserved two-one win on the night, and 3-1 on aggregate triumph, over Norway to book their place at EURO 2016.

Wonderful start for Hungary

Norway were required to make history, as they had to overcome the one-goal deficit from the first-leg at home. The early signs were not good and Balázs Dzsudzsák's long range effort had to be tipped round the post by Ørjan Nyland in the opening seconds. Norway did their best to try and force quick counters in a bid to get a foothold, but it would ultimately prove their downfall.

Tamás Kádár hit a brilliant long ball over the top of the visiting defence and Tamás Priskin beat Vegard Forren in a chase for possession. Norway were still in a good defensive position, but Priskin cut inside and produced a stunning, curling effort that sailed into the top corner from the opposite edge of the area. What was already a tough task had now become an almost impossible challenge.

Király called into action

To their credit, the Norwegians were not out of the game and had a few decent chances to level the game before the half hour. Haitam Aleesami had a close range shot brilliantly saved by Gabor Király from close range after Mohamed Elyounoussi scuffed his initial effort. The resulting corner from Martin Ødegaard saw Forren get free, though his header went well wide of the goal.

Legendary stopper Gabor Király enjoyed his side's opening goal. (Image credit: UEFA)
Legendary stopper Gabor Király enjoyed his side's opening goal. (Image credit: UEFA)

Hungary were still coming forward themselves, refusing to rest on their laurels. Dzsudzsák had another shot saved by Nyland, before the Bursaspor midfielder whipped in a great ball that saw Gergő Lovrencsics head just wide. Priskin then marched on towards goal and looked like he would notch up a second goal and kill the tie off for good, only for Aleesami to make a crucial clearance and keep his side in the game at the break.

Second half sees Hungary start on the back foot

There were changes for both teams at the break as Adám Pintér came on in place of Ákos Elek, while Norway opted for a double alteration. Pål André Helland and Marcus Pedersen replaced the largely ineffectual duo of Elyounoussi and starlet Ødegaard. The changes almost worked a treat for the visitors, though their early set-piece pressure couldn't force a way past Király.

Hungary would respond and a deflected cross from captain Dzsudzsák, left Nyland rooted to the spot and clipped the top of the bar. Pedersen then went inches from leveling the match with a looping header, but it went a matter of inches wide of the post after a deflection. The duel of the evening then went to a fourth engagement, as Dzsudzsák's powerful run and shot brought the best out of Nyland with a stunning one-handed save.

An outpouring of joy. The passionate Hungary fans celebrate qualifying for France. (Image credit: UEFA)
An outpouring of joy. The passionate Hungary fans celebrate qualifying for France. (Image credit: UEFA)

Henriksen scores at both ends

Any hopes of a late revival ended when Pedersen had the chance of the tie for his side, only to spurn it. A shot from Alexander Tettey inadvertently found Pedersen, who controlled neatly before going through on goal. The forward, faced with Király, slipped as he attempted to find the back of the net and the veteran stopper was on hand to save.

There would be some late drama, as Markus Henriksen got himself on the scoresheet twice. The first was an unfortunate flick that left Nyland stranded, as he attempted to clear a corner. It would not be all doom and gloom, however, as Henriksen finally found a way past Király with a strong half-volley. Despite the late surge, it was too little too late and Hungary secured their place as the first side to advance through the play-offs.

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