Szoboszlai sends Hungary to Euros with 2 assists – including 97th-minute equaliser!

Dominik Szoboszlai‘s unbeaten reign as Hungary captain continued with a vital display against Bulgaria, with two assists to clinch a place at the Euros.

After controversy in the buildup as fans protested against the Bulgarian Football Union, Hungary’s seventh qualifier for next year’s Euros was played behind closed doors.

It marked Szoboszlai’s 11th game since being appointed captain of his country in 2022, with manager Marco Rossi explaining at the time that he was “a real leader, a strong character, which is rare in his age.”

The 23-year-old’s time as captain has coincided with a remarkable unbeaten run, with Hungary yet to lose since he was given the armband.

Thursday’s clash with Bulgaria proved a difficult one, but with Hungary knowing a result would secure their spot at Germany 2024, they fought back for a vital 2-2 draw.

Szoboszlai’s first assist came after 10 minutes, with the Liverpool midfielder whipping in a free-kick from the right-hand side of the box for Martin Adam to head home.

His team-mates mobbed him in celebration, acknowledging the quality of his delivery.

Bulgaria equalised midway through the half, Spas Delev nicking the ball ahead of Szoboszlai in the box and bending a brilliant effort home.

Both sides were shown red cards before the next goal, with Valentin Antov dismissed for Bulgaria and Milos Kerkez for Hungary, before Kiril Despedov’s penalty put the hosts ahead.

The tie looked to be trailing out to a frustrating defeat for Hungary, only for Aleks Petkov to head Szoboszlai’s free-kick into his own net in the 97th minute.

A point was enough to book Hungary’s place at the Euros, as they are now guaranteed to at least finish second in Group G, with Szoboszlai the hero again.

He had already scored one and assisted another to salvage a 2-2 draw with Lithuania in the last game of the October break, and stepped up with another captain’s display on Thursday.

Per Hungarian journalist Bence Bocsak, Szoboszlai’s side are now on the longest unbeaten run of any national team in world football.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 15: Players of Portugal pose for a team photograph prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at Puskas Arena on June 15, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA)

Elsewhere on Thursday, Diogo Jota assisted Cristiano Ronaldo as he played 90 minutes in Portugal’s 2-0 win away to Liechtenstein.

Mohamed Salah netted four and broke another record as Egypt thrashed Djibouti 6-0, and Darwin Nunez struck in Uruguay’s 2-0 victory over Alexis Mac Allister‘s Argentina.

There were tears in the stands and on the pitch as Luis Diaz netted twice to secure a 2-1 victory for Colombia against Alisson‘s Brazil, with his parents watching on.

Wataru Endo was an unused substitute as Japan beat Myanmar 5-0, while Luke Chambers came off the bench for the final nine minutes as England U20s lost 3-0 to Italy.