Hungary’s women sign off with victory over Slovakia in Cyprus Cup
Hungary edged an exciting encounter 3-2 against Slovakia in their final Cyprus Cup match courtesy of strikes from Loretta Németh, Anita Pinczi and Zsanett Jakabfi.
After three tough matches against Thailand, Italy and Mexico over the past few days, Hungary head coach Edina Markó made several changes for the 10th place play-off against Slovakia, players who hadn’t featured that much in the tournament so far such as Auburn University Athletics’ Stella Kiss and newcomer Barbara Tóth making the starting XI.
Slovakia were the first to threaten, Anna Samu being called into action after 15 minutes, and Hungary’s opponents duly took the lead after 25 minutes when Jana Vojtekova scored from a corner kick awarded after Samu had turned a free-kick awarded for handball round the post.
Hungary replied four minutes later, Apollon forwards Loretta Németh dispossessing the Slovakian goalkeeper and rolling the ball into the empty net. By the 35th minute they would be ahead, Viktória Szabó setting Anita Pinczi clear to finish, but Hungary were pegged back in the 41st minute when the ball broke of Samu before hitting Evelin Mosdóczi on its way into the net.
Markó freshened up her side at halftime by introducing Dóra Zeller, Fanni Vágó and Zsanett Jakabfi in attack, and replacing Viktória Szabó with Lilla Turányi in defence. Those changes paid dividends with Hungary going 3-2 ahead in the 53rd minute. Jakabfi scoring a spectacular goal after winning the ball in midfield. Jakabfi came close to adding a fourth Hungarian goal thereafter, whilst at the other end Samu was called upon to protect her team’s one-goal-lead. With no further goals being scored Hungary therefore edged their European Championship qualifying opponents 3-2.
“Both teams were very evenly matched, and this time round we came out on top. We need to reduce the number of goals we are conceding, whereas our attacking play was creative, even if we appeared to lack a little dynamism due to tiredness. We tried to rotate, make subs, and it was our plan to inject a little more pace into our attacking play in the second half. The game was also useful in terms of seeing Slovakia close-up before the European Championship qualifiers, not to mention from a confidence perspective” said Markó following the victory. “We can only improve if we play against teams who are stronger than us. We played well at the Cyprus Cup; I was especially happy with our performance against Mexico. I’m proud of the girls, and all of our hard work is beginning to pay off.'
Slovakia 2-3 Hungary (HT: 2–2)
Goalscorers: Loretta Németh (30’), Anita Pinczi (35’), Zsanett Jakabfi (53’)
Hungary: Anna Samu – Evelin Mosdóczi, Barbara Tóth, Viktória Szabó (Lilla Turányi, 46’), Anita Pinczi – Dóra Papp (Henrietta Csiszár, 73’), Diána Csányi, Bernadett Zágor (Evelin Fenyvesi, 59.) – Stella Kiss (Fanni Vágó, 46’) – Zsanett Kaján (Dóra Zeller, 46’), Loretta Németh (Zsanett Jakabfi, 46’)