Euro 2024: Scotland – Hungary: Late goal – Fears for Varga

Euro 2024: Scotland – Hungary: Late goal – Fears for Varga
Euro 2024: Scotland – Hungary: Late goal – Fears for Varga

After collapse: Varga in stable condition

Published: 23.06.2024, 23:24

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It is a shocking moment in the match between Scotland and Hungary in Swiss Group A: Hungary’s striker Barnabas Varga remains motionless on the pitch after a free kick cross into the opponent’s penalty area and after a duel with Scottish goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

The emergency medical staff rushes onto the pitch, helpers set up a screen, teammates and opponents worry, the spectators in the stadium are shocked, the television audience is worried. The moments are reminiscent of the Dane Christian Eriksen, who collapsed at the 2021 European Championship without any opponent’s influence, fought for his life and was able to be saved.

Varga was taken to hospital in Stuttgart on Sunday evening, and during the game it was said that he was responsive when he was taken away. In the night to Monday, the Hungarian Football Association posted the next message that gave hope on the social media platform X.

Varga is in a stable condition in a Stuttgart hospital. The news service X literally translated it as: «The condition of Barnabás Varga is stable! The player of @Fradi_HU is currently in one of the hospitals in Stuttgart! We will inform you immediately when there is any news on the status!»

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There is more news, once again on Monday night. In a second post, the Hungarian association reports that Varga has suffered several facial fractures and a concussion.

The first images on television made it seem as if the collision between Varga and goalie Gunn wasn’t that bad. However, photos taken afterwards show that the attacker was hit in the head by Gunn’s arm in the aerial duel. Varga therefore changed his posture while in the air and hit the ground hard.

Liverpool professional Dominik Szoboszlai was one of the first to get to him. The Hungarian attacker later told the German TV station Magenta: “I was one of the first to get there. And I was shocked myself. I tried to lay him on his side, which is actually the best thing to do in a situation like that. He couldn’t get any air.”

The incident with Varga in the 68th minute pushed Hungary’s 1-0 lead into the background. In the 10th minute of stoppage time of a thrilling final phase, Kevin Csoboth scored to make it 1-0. Varga had previously scored Hungary’s only goal of the tournament in the 1-3 loss to Switzerland.

Scotland’s European Championship party is over

For the Scots and their tireless fans, the European Championship party is over after the preliminary round. After the last matchday of Group A, the Scots have only one point and, unlike the Hungarians (3), can no longer hope to advance to the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The Hungarians, led by Liverpool star Dominik Szoboszlai, are in the waiting list. They disappointed for a long time in front of 54,000 spectators but seized their last chance. “No Scotland, no party,” the Scots fans sang for a long time, but now coach Steve Clarke’s players have to leave. The Scottish team had not made it past the group stage in the previous three European Championships. After the 1:5 opening defeat against hosts Germany, they played 1:1 against Switzerland. The Hungarians now have hopes of reaching the round of 16, as they did in 2016.

Draws were not allowed for the two teams, who had not won a game up to that point. In front of their legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson, the Scots started wildly and immediately forced the Hungarians onto the defensive. They had high hopes for Scott McTominay of Manchester United, who had scored seven goals in eight qualifying matches.

But there was very, very little play on either side. The Argentinian referee Facundo Tello had his hands full to ensure that the passionate duels remained somewhat within limits. On the Hungarian side, the game initially passed the offensive star and captain Szoboszlai. He was barely able to make an impact in the first half against the Scots, who were thinned out defensively.

Duel at a weak level

Hungary’s coach Marco Rossi once again relied on a lot of Bundesliga power with Péter Gulácsi in goal and his Leipzig colleague Willi Orbán, Márton Dárdai from Hertha BSC, András Schäfer from Union Berlin and Roland Sallai from Freiburg in the starting eleven. It was only after half an hour that the Hungarians started promising attacks. A free kick from Szoboslai almost led to the 1-0 lead – but the onrushing Orbán headed the ball onto the crossbar.

After the defeats against Switzerland (1:3) and Germany (0:2), the Hungarians tried more and more desperately to remember their footballing abilities after the break. However, the match remained at a low level, even though the fans of both opponents made a hell of a noise. First, Szoboszlai missed a huge chance to take the lead shortly before the end, then Csoboth hit the post in injury time – and finally brought relief to the Hungarian fans in Stuttgart.


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