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England lose to Hungary in 2022-23 Nations League opener

This matters, until it doesn’t

Hungary v England: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3 Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The England national football team hadn’t lost a match since the final of Euro 2020/1, but that nine-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt in Budapest tonight, as the Three Lions succumbed to an inspired home side, 1-0. (This match was supposed to take place behind closed doors, but UEFA allowed the Hungarian FA to give away tickets to kids 14 and under. Over 30,000, with chaperones, came out to support!)

RB Leipzig super-talent Dominik Szoboszlai scored the game’s only goal, from an incredibly soft penalty given against Reece James, but Hungary were the “better” team with the “better” chances for long stretches of this game. The local press are calling this a “symbolic” win, a massive surprise heard ‘round the world. I mean, it’s not that, but it’s cool.

Mason Mount started and James came off the bench in the second half (and was involved in the penalty incident almost immediately after), but England failed to score for the first time since the 0-0 draw against Scotland, also at last summer’s Euros. Conor Gallagher was an unused substitute.

The other two nations in this group, Italy and Germany, are set to play later tonight. Hungary were expected to be the whipping boys, but this win does throw the group a bit more open. And it’s just embarrassing for Southgate & Co, really.

(And also, can we please generate some Szoboszlai to Chelsea rumors? Thanks in advance.)