England endure abuse but brush aside Hungary

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Harry Maguire score in 14-minute flurry, and Declan Rice adds the fourth

England players react after Hungary fans throw flares on to the pitch. AFP
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England endured a hostile atmosphere and were pelted with plastic cups but still brushed aside Hungary in a World Cup qualifier.

They beat Hungary 4-0, in England’s first game since losing the European Championship final, and took control of the group.

For Hungary, it was a miserable night on the field and the country's Football Federation is likely to face a Fifa investigation after crowd misbehaviour and reports of racial abuse of two of England's black players.

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Harry Maguire scored in a 14-minute flurry and Declan Rice added a fourth second-half goal.

England's fourth straight victory in Group I extended its lead to five points on the road to qualifying for Qatar.

“It is a real tough place to come," captain Kane said. "We knew it was going to be a difficult game and such a big game in the group as well.

"We knew if we won here it puts us into a great position and almost one foot into the World Cup."

England's forward Raheem Sterling scores the first goal against Hungary. AFP

Elsewhere in the group, Poland is second after beating Albania 4-1, while Andorra earned its first win by beating fellow minnow San Marino 2-0 at home.

England started slowly at Puskas Arena after being loudly jeered inside by a 60,000-strong crowd of mostly Hungarian fans for taking a knee before kick-off.

British domestic broadcaster ITV reported there were "monkey" chants by Hungary fans behind the goal towards two black England players, Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham.

Kane said he didn’t hear the chants but: “If that was the case, hopefully Uefa can come down strong.”

Hungary was playing in front of its supporters about two months after Uefa ordered the team to play three games without fans, one of which was suspended for a probationary period of two years.

The punishment was for “discriminatory” behaviour by its supporters at all three of its Euro 2020 group games.

Sterling put England ahead in the 55th minute by side-footing Mason Mount’s cross and as he celebrated near the corner to the right of the goal, he revealed an undershirt with an apparent tribute to a friend.

Harry Kane scores England's second goal. Getty

Cups came raining down on the Manchester City winger and his teammates who came to congratulate him. Declan Rice pretended to take a sip from one of them.

Kane headed in a cross from Sterling in the 63rd minute before Maguire nodded home a corner from Luke Shaw, the ball squirming out of Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s grasp.

Cups, then a flare landed on the field after Maguire’s goal.

Gulacsi then let a long-range shot from Rice go under his body and into the net in the 87th, completing the win.

Updated: September 02, 2021, 10:24 PM