John Stones earned a point for England, who came from a goal down to hold Hungary to a 1-1 draw in a FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture.
England began brightly and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, with an exchange between Luke Shaw and Jack Grealish in the build-up to a chance for Harry Kane standing out. However, it was Hungary who broke the deadlock against the run of play, as Shaw was penalised for a high boot on Loic Nego when clearing the ball.
Up stepped Roland Sallai to take the resulting penalty and he made no error in converting from the spot to hand Hungary the lead. England then set out in search of an equaliser, which came well ahead of half-time, as John Stones scored from point-blank range after seeing a free-kick from Phil Foden ricocheting his way off Declan Rice.
Post the interval, it was all England for the most part, but the elusive goal never came, with the hosts lacking sharpness in the final third. In fact, the best chance of the second half fell Hungary’s way, as Bukayo Saka lost the ball close to his own box, although Filip Holender blazed his shot wide of target.
The result means England now need to wait till next month to confirm their place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Poland now just three points behind them. As for Hungary, they need a miracle to reach the playoffs position, with Poland six points adrift of them. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Gareth Southgate’s men.
Jordan Pickford: 6/10
There was nothing that Pickford had to do in the game apart from fetching the ball out of his goal once. However, he stood no chance of saving Roland Sallai’s penalty after diving the wrong way. Had no save to make otherwise and played simple short passes at the back.
Kyle Walker: 6/10
A largely quiet evening for Walker on the offensive front, with most of the plays from the flanks being directed through Luke Shaw. However, the experienced full-back did see a lot of the ball and did well to facilitate efficient build-up plays from the back. Never really troubled by Szabolcs Schon, and he won each of his four duels as well.
John Stones: 8/10
The clear standout performer in the game, Stones did well to keep the England backline organised, which effectively rendered Salai ineffective. Won five duels while also making a big block and completing 96 percent of his attempted passes. The standout moment, though, was his goal, as he showed tremendous awareness to reach the deflected free-kick.
John Stones' game by numbers vs. Hungary:
96.9% pass accuracy
11 long balls attempted
10 long balls completed
3 aerial duels won (most)
2 blocked shots (most)
2 shots on goal
Stupendous Stones. 👏 pic.twitter.com/CSYoaPWJeW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 12, 2021
Tyrone Mings: 6/10
One of the more straightforward outings in an England shirt for Mings, who was hardly troubled by Sallai, with the Hungary striker left isolated for the most part. Won each of his three duels and was especially imperious in the air while also completing 92 percent of his attempted passes.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Shaw was somewhat unfortunate to have conceded the penalty for an inadvertent high boot as he clearly did not see Loic Nego charging towards him as he cleared the ball. Otherwise, the 26-year-old was once again an outlet on the left flank and created a fine chance for Harry Kane. Showed some promising chemistry with Jack Grealish as well.
Phil Foden: 7/10
Once again deployed as a midfielder, Foden was a rare shining light for England, dictating play smartly. However, he could have done with better support from Mason Mount in particular, though he did enough to inspire the equaliser, with his dangerous free-kick ricocheting towards Stones. Played a joint game-high two key passes while retaining a passing rate of 90 percent.
Declan Rice: 6/10
A blow-hot blow-cold display by Rice, who provided a solid base in front of the England defence and kept a check on Dominik Szboszlai in particular. However, the young midfielder lacked imagination with his passing, even though he misplaced just one of his 65 efforts, most of which were sideways. A rare blip on the ball.
Mason Mount: 5/10
Mount has not quite got going since returning from a short injury layoff and his performance against Hungary suggests he could do with a rest. The young playmaker created no openings in the game while being slow to move the ball forward. Did put in the hard yards off the ball, though, and cannot be faulted for a lack of defensive effort. Has to do better creatively.
Raheem Sterling: 5/10
A game of hits and misses for Sterling, who executed the most shots in the game but could not really direct any of his efforts past Peter Gulacsi. Indeed, each of his shots were rather tame, though his movement was once again a standout trait. Needs to do more to earn a regular place in the Manchester City side while suitors like Barcelona would have been less than impressed.
Harry Kane: 5/10
Like Sterling, Kane has recently been linked with a switch to La Liga, with Real Madrid still in the hunt for him. However, the performance on Tuesday would have done nothing to convince Florentino Perez to open the checkbook for him.
Indeed, Kane managed just a couple of shots in the game, with neither troubling Gulacsi and at half-time, he had fewer touches than Pickford. Did set up a fine chance for Sterling, though.
Only Jordan Pickford has had fewer touches (7) than Harry Kane against Hungary (10).
Anonymous. 😩 pic.twitter.com/iatIpJx8U1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 12, 2021
Jack Grealish: 7/10
One of the livelier players for England, Grealish showed some fine chemistry with Shaw, with his backheel flick to release the full-back being simply exquisite. Won the free-kick that was eventually converted by Stones for the equaliser. Surprisingly the first one to be taken off by Southgate.
Bukayo Saka: 6/10
A bright spark upon being sent on in place of Grealish, Saka put in the hard yards both on and off the ball. However, he just could not manage to create a game-changing opportunity while also losing the ball in the dangerous area, although he was not punished for it as Filip Holender missed the target.
Jordan Henderson: N/A
Introduced in place of Sterling, Henderson kept things tight in the middle of the park in the final quarter of an hour, although there were a few sloppy touches as well.
Tammy Abraham: N/A
On for Kane, who was also the Player to Watch in our preview, Tammy Abraham barely saw the ball despite spending 15 minutes on the pitch. Forced off late with an injury that will be a concern for Jose Mourinho.
Ollie Watkins: N/A
A late introduction, Watkins managed just one touch on the ball late on, although he did manage a shot with that touch.