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Hungary score last-minute winner to send Scots home

Hungary score last-minute winner to send Scots home

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Hungary score last-minute winner to send Scots home

 Hungary snatched a 100th-minute winner to beat Scotland 1-0 and put themselves in contention for a last-16 spot at the Euro 2024 while condemning the Scots to yet another failure at a major tournament.

Kevin Csoboth’s breakaway goal with almost the last kick of the match ensured Hungary finished third in Group A with three points while Scotland, yet to reach the knockout phase of either the Euros or World Cup, end in last place on one point.

Hungary must wait to see whether they will qualify for the last 16 in one of the places reserved for the best four third-placed finishers.

Their progress now rests on results from other groups going their way over the next three days. However, for now Marco Rossi’s side will revel in their dramatic victory that rescued their hopes just as they thought they were heading home.

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“It was unbelievable. We never achieved nothing in the past without big, big suffering. Today was no different. I think that we played the match that we needed to play,” Rossi said.

“We created many options, many situations. We also left some (chances) to them. But overall, I think if I say that it was a deserved win, I’d be right,” he added.

The match was a scrappy affair, with both teams struggling to exert any kind of control despite each being desperate for a win to continue their stay in Germany.

Steve Clarke’s Scotland did dominate possession in the opening 25 minutes but could not fashion any clear-cut chances. Indeed, they had no shots at all in the first half despite having 61% of the ball. They ended the match without a shot on target.

Hungary, meanwhile, grew into the game and began threatening on the break and making quick transitions, with captain Dominik Szoboszlai in particular threatening from set pieces.

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The midfielder’s freekick to the far post in the 41st minute was met by an unmarked Willi Orban but his poor header clipped the top of the bar from close range.

Che Adams had Scotland’s first shot shortly after the break but he blasted it over.

HORROR CLASH

The game was paused for a lengthy period in the 68th minute after a horrible clash between Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Barnabas Varga from another Szoboszlai freekick.

Varga appeared to be knocked out cold and needed urgent treatment, and Hungary players erected blankets around him as a screen while they looked in distress, with Szoboszlai in tears.

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The forward was carried off the field on a stretcher to applause from the crowd. He was taken to Stuttgart Hospital, the Hungarian Football Federation said, adding that he was in a stable condition.

“That gave us that extra bit, obviously we don’t ever want to see that on a football pitch but thankfully he’s conscious now,” Hungary midfielder Callum Styles said.

Scotland had a strong appeal for a penalty dismissed in the 79th minute when substitute Stuart Armstrong ran on to the ball in the box but fell under contact from Orban. However, the referee did not consider it a foul.

The game become more chaotic as both teams sought a winner.

Gunn did well to save from Szoboszlai’s shot at the near post in the first minute of stoppage time, while Csoboth struck the post a minute later from the right when bearing down on goal.

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Scotland rushed forward and McTominay slid in at the near post to meet a low cross but the ball missed the target.

It was from a Scottish corner that Hungary turned into a rapid counter-attack up the pitch. A long cutback across the box fell to Csoboth who slotted the ball in, sending Hungary fans delirious and players from their bench running over in celebration.

Scotland could only look on dejected as their bid to make history ended in dramatic fashion to the latest goal ever scored at a European Championship in regulation time.

“Tonight’s devastating, the lads are absolutely gutted. Yeah, but it’s up to us to pick them up and that will happen slowly but surely,” Scotland captain Andy Robertson said.

“But thank you to the country because we felt everyone behind us, and we knew the excitement back home – sorry for letting you down.”

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Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

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Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is joining Hajduk Split after Saudi Pro League club Al-Shabab terminated his contract by mutual consent following a six-month spell.

The 36-year-old scored once in eight games after joining Al-Shabab in January 2024 as they finished eighth on 52 points.

“The club management agreed with the Croatian player Ivan Rakitic to terminate the contractual relationship between the two parties by mutual consent,” the Saudi club posted on the X social media platform.

Hajduk Split on Sunday announced the signing of the former Barcelona and Sevilla midfielder for one season with the option of an extra year in what will be his first campaign in Croatia.

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Rakitic, who was born in Switzerland, played 106 games for Croatia, scoring 15 goals, and helped the country reach the World Cup final in 2018. 

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Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

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Croatia's Vida retires from international football

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida has retired from international soccer after 14 years in the national team, the Croatian Football Federation said on Sunday.

Vida, 35, made his international debut in May 2010 and has played 105 matches for Croatia. He was part of the Croatia side that reached the final of World Cup 2018 and finished third in World Cup 2022.

“It is an honour to wear the most beautiful jersey in the world once in your career,” Vida said in a statement.

“And when you do it 105 times, you play in seven major competitions … then you can just be infinitely grateful for such a privilege.”

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Former Bayer Leverkusen and Besiktas player Vida currently plays for Greek top-flight club AEK Athens. 

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Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

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Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Sydney Collins will miss the Paris 2024 women’s soccer tournament after fracturing her left leg during a training game in her first match back after suffering a similar injury to her right leg earlier this year, Team Canada said on Saturday.

Gabrielle Carle will replace Collins in Canada’s Olympic squad, while Desiree Scott will take Carle’s spot as an alternate for the Tokyo 2020 gold medallists, it said.

Collins sustained the injury on Thursday during a closed-door training match against Nigeria, her first since fracturing her right leg in February.

“Our hearts go out to Sydney during this difficult time. She has worked incredibly hard to return in time for Paris 2024, and while this is a setback, we know she will come back stronger,” said women’s national team head coach Bev Priestman.

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“She will be with us in spirit every step of the way.

“With the depth and resilience of our roster, it’s a next-player-up mentality, and both Gabby and Desiree’s experience will be invaluable to our team’s success.”

Canada will begin the defence of their Olympic title on July 25 against Group A opponents New Zealand. 

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