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Shot-shy Hungary fail to turn up heat

By Graham Luney

Published 05/09/2015

Stalemate: Romania's Lucian Sanmartean (front) challenges Hungary's Akos Elek
Stalemate: Romania's Lucian Sanmartean (front) challenges Hungary's Akos Elek

Northern Ireland wanted Romania to do them a favour by stopping Hungary from winning in Budapest... and that's exactly what happened.

The 0-0 stalemate sets up a glorious chance for Michael O'Neill's side to make history on Monday night as a Northern Ireland side has never qualified for the finals of the European Championships.

A win over Hungary at Windsor Park will do just that.

Hungary will arrive four points behind O'Neill's boys who now top the table, one point clear of Romania.

In a ferocious game with bookings galore, Romania dominated for long periods and will be disappointed not to have won.

They are still in a good position to qualify for France. Hungary need a win in Belfast to have any chance.

Also in Group F, Greece's shocking form continued when they lost 1-0 to Finland.

Joel Pohjanpalo fired in the winner with 15 minutes remaining, recording his nation's second victory in the campaign.

While Scotland licked their wounds in Group D and the Republic of Ireland took full advantage by overcoming Gibraltar 4-0, heavyweights Germany saw off Poland 3-1 to claim top spot in the table. Thomas Muller netted the opener on 12 minutes and Mario Gotze doubled his side's lead in the 19th minute. Robert Lewandowski headed Poland back into the contest in the 36th minute but Gotze strick again in the 82nd minute.

In a friendly, France won 1-0 in Portugal with Mathieu Valbuena netting the winner five minutes from the end for the Euro 2016 hosts.

Belfast Telegraph

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