Under 19s finish 3rd in elite-round group in Macedonia
Hungary men's Under 19 team suffered a dramatic 3-2 loss against Latvia in their final group game in Macedonia, a result which meant they finished third in their elite-round group and will not be present at the tournament finals this summer.
Hungary Men Under-19s team had started this elite-round group positively with a shock 1-0 half-time lead against much-fancied England, only to concede four second-half goals and eventually lose that opening fixture 4-1. England then won their second group fixture too and thereby secure the only qualification place on offer to the tournament finals later this summer, so Hungary, having won their second match 4-3 against hosts Macedonia, were now only contesting second spot.
Their opponent Latvia had a similar aim, that of finishing just behind group winners England, and took the lead after a quarter of an hour through Regza following a defensive error, but Hungary weren't playing badly and soon worked their way back into the game, levelling matters in the 55th minutes thanks to Norbert Kundrák's excellent pass and Milán Májer's shot from 12 metres. Two minutes later, Zsombor Bévárdi's penalty gave Antal Németh's team a slender lead which they looked set to hold on to for the rest of the game, but the squad's worst nightmare came true in the last five minutes, firstly Regza gaining possession following a long-range shot and shooting past Hungary goalkeeper Ádám Varga into the bottom-right corner of the net and then when Latvia improbably scored an added-time winner, Regza completing his hat-trick with a header from a right-wing cross after a swift counter-attack to ensure Hungary left Skopje ultimately disappointed.
Hungary therefore finished third behind Latvia and England, the latter of whom had enough security after two wins from their first two games to afford a 2-0 loss in their final match against hosts Macedonia.
Antal Németh, Hungary Men's U19s head coach:
"With a one-goal lead, we had the chance to close out the game but we weren't sufficiently professional and spurned our chances so even though victory was within our gras, we left the pitch with a loss. Latvia's goals came from stupid individual errors which again prove that at international level, a team can't get away with these mistakes even at youth level. Now, for example, based on the pattern of the game and individual ability, the team which won should have been beaten by us. We are very disappointed because we didn't deserve a loss from this match and I hope the players have learnt a lot from it and indeed the experiences of the whole elite round".
Latvia 3-2 Hungary (HT: 1-0)
Hungary (surnames first): Varga Ádám - Bolla Bendegúz (Krebsz Máté, 63.), Schindler Olivér, Mocsi Attila, Banó-Szabó Bence - Lustyik Levente, Schafer András, Májer Milán (Stoiacovici Dávid, 71.) - Bévárdi Zsombor (Kiss Tamás, 78.), Kundrák Norbert, Schön Szabolcs.