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Kocsis brilliance hands superior Hungary comfortable U-21 win over Malta

Malta's U-21 fell to Hungary in their second qualifying group game. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

MALTA U21             0

HUNGARY U21       3

Kocsis 3, 41

M. Kovacs 85

MALTA H. Sacco, O. Spiteri, J. Vassallo, M. Ellul (88 Z. Leonardi), M. Veselji (88 J. Carbone), A. Zammit, A. Garzia, N. Micallef (77 K. Mohnani), J. Micallef (88 K. Bondin), A. Borg (67 G. Sciberras), B. Tuma.

HUNGARY K. Hegyi, B. Katona (63 M. Vitalis), P. Iyinbor, M. Csinger, P. Barath (78 A. Eordogh), D. Kocsis (85 , Z. Kerezsi (78 G. Komaromi), B. Balogh, B. Kovacs, M. Kovacs, K. Lisztes (63 A. Nemeth).

Referee Marek Radina (Czech Republic).

Yellow cards Iyinbor, Spiteri, Veselji, Lisztes, Barath, Micallef, Vitalis.

Dominik Kocsis came to haunt the Malta U-21s as the Hungarian attacking midfielder produced two moments of brilliance to propel his country to a comfortable win in a European Championship qualifier at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Tuesday.

The Hungarians were on top right from the outset and Kocsis’s opener inside the first three minutes put them on their way.

The Maltese tried to bring themselves back into the match but they lacked the necessary firepower to test the visitors’ defence.

Instead, it was the Hungarians who put the game beyond the hosts’ reach with two spectacular strikes, one from Kocsis just before half-time and Matyas Kovacs on 85 minutes to ensure they chalked up their second successive win of the campaign.

Malta coach Ivan Woods made three changes from the team that was soundly beaten by Spain 6-0 last week as Owen Spiteri came on for Matthias Ellul while Nikolai Micallef started ahead of Benjamin Hili with Jake Micallef was preferred to Kurt Bondin. Striker Kurt Engerer was ruled out by injury.

The home side endured a very disappointing start as inside the first three minutes the Hungarians immediately took the lead.

Kovacs broke free on the right and picked Kocsis inside the area and the Hungarian forward drilled the ball past the diving Hugo Sacco, the Malta U-21 goalkeeper.

After that early setback, the Maltese managed to somewhat regroup and started pressing more their opponents, limiting the danger towards their goal.

Malta finally threatened on 22 minutes when they were awarded a central free-kick and Andrea Zammit’s shot finished over.

The Hungarians remained the more dangerous side and on the half-hour, Kovacs was again the provider when his cross at the far post was headed towards goal by Zalan Kerezsi who saw his downward header brilliantly pushed away by Sacco.

But the visitors were not to be denied as four minutes from the break they doubled the lead through a moment of genius from Kocsis.

The Hungarian forward was served on the edge of the area and showed great skill to dribble past two defenders and direct the ball past Sacco.

The Hungarians remained on top in the second half and on 56 minutes they almost added a third when Barnabas Kovacs hit a firm drive that came off the upright with Sacco beaten.

Malta finally threatened on 69 minutes when from a free-kick action, Tuma’s cross was pushed by Hegyi into the path of Veselji who saw his shot blocked by the sliding Kovacs.

But the Hungarians remained the more dangerous side as on 79 minutes Kovacs saw his shot pushed away by Sacco.

But Matyas Kovacs was not to be denied as five minutes from time he beat Sacco with a fine rising shot to wrap up a comfortable evening for Hungary.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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