tHungary qualified for the knockout phase of the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in their history, courtesy of a 2-0 win over United Arab Emirates. First half goals from Kristian Nemeth and captain Vladimir Koman took the Europeans to top spot in Group F, while defeated UAE finished second.
The result certainly did not reflect the opening exchanges, as UAE had three good chances to take the lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Amer Abdulrahman fired the first warning shot after just two minutes which he swung his boot at a loose ball, which went narrowly over. Ahmed Khalil's free-kick bent around the Hungary wall, but fortunately Peter Gulasci was well placed to save the shot. Then Habib Fardan's low drive from the edge of the box had the Liverpool keeper beaten, but fortunately for the custodian, it flashed across the face of the goal.
As so often happens when a team does not take their chances, UAE's opponents capitalised. A long ball played from the back was seized upon by Kristian Nemeth, who timed his run to perfection and slotted the ball past Yousif Abdulrahman for his side's first of the evening. The second swiftly followed - and what a goal it was. A poor clearance from Saad Surour fell at the feet of Vladimir Koman, who struck a first-time shot with his right foot, which flew into the net.
Both teams had theirchances after the interval, but they ultimately came to nothing. Koman drove the ball from the left channel into a central area before unleashing a right-foot shot which went narrowly over the bar and the same fate befell a free-kick from Hamdan Al Kamali. As the half drew to a close, both teams played a dangerous game. Hungary moved to consolidate their lead, while UAE appeared to be content to maintain the 2-0 scoreline as well, which would have been enough to see them finish in second place. In the final stages, Khalil forced a fantastic save from Gulasci, but even a goal then would not have changed the outcome of the group.
Hungary have now set up clash with the runners-up of Group E in Alexandria on Tuesday, while UAE travel to Suez to face Venezuela a day later.