Euro 2016 ecstasy for Hungary as they end 30-year wait

Hungary’s 30-year wait to play on the major championship stage will end in France next year after their 2-1 victory over Norway ensured that one of football’s most storied nations qualified for the Euro 2016 finals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 November, 2015, 10:12am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 November, 2015, 10:12am

Hungary’s 30-year wait to play on the major championship stage will end in France next year after their 2-1 victory over Norway ensured that one of football’s most storied nations qualified for the Euro 2016 finals.

I told them to play with confidence, play without fear and you will have success
Bernd Storck, Hungary coach

The triumph, which sealed their 3-1 victory on aggregate in front of an ecstatic crowd in the Groupama Arena, guaranteed Hungary’s first appearance in any championship finals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

“I have to congratulate my team, association president Sandor Csanyi, and also Pal Dardai, who I took over from and he left this team for me,” said Hungary’s German coach, Bernd Storck, who took charge in July.

“The players’ approach was fantastic during those two games, they fought well and deserved to qualify for France.

“I told them to play with confidence, play without fear and you will have success.”

The Hungarians built on their first-leg win in Oslo when Tamas Priskin curled in a delightful 14th-minute opener and Markus Henriksen’s own goal on 83 minutes made the tie safe.

Henriksen atoned with a late goal but it was scant consolation for the Norwegians as the home side celebrated qualifying for the European Championship finals for the first time since 1972.

The toast of Budapest was Hungary’s 39-year-old Gabor Kiraly, who made a series of superb saves over the two legs.

“Congratulations to Hungary, they were better than us over the two legs,” said Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo.

“I am deeply disappointed with our performance. We could not score in Oslo, that was a big setback. All in all, we came up short.”