Alex Petkov scored an own goal in the 94th minute to earn Hungary a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria on the road in their qualifying Group G match on Thursday. The result gave Hungary enough points to go to the finals of Euro 2024 with a game to spare.
They now have 15 points after seven games, giving them an unassailable lead of seven points over Montenegro, who are in third place and have two more matches to play. This result propelled them to the top of the group.
After ten minutes of play, Martin Adam gave Hungary the lead with a header from close range after Dominik Szoboszlai, the team’s captain, had taken a free kick from the right side of the field.
The team under Marco Rossi appeared to be about to extend their lead, but Spas Delev tied the game at 1-1 in the 24th minute with a shot that went into the top right corner on Bulgaria’s first opportunity.
The hosts were handed a blow just before halftime when they were reduced to nine men due to red cards sent to Valentin Antov and Ilia Gruev. However, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened to overturn the red card shown to Ilia Gruev, which kept hopes alive for a Bulgarian comeback.
In the second half’s early stages, Hungary was also reduced to 10 men when Milos Kerkez was shown a red card. They then suffered a massive blow in the 78th minute when Kiril Despodov converted a penalty to give Bulgaria a 2-1 lead.
Petkov headed in an own goal from a corner seven minutes into stoppage time to send his side into their third consecutive final of the European championship. This saved Hungary from suffering their first loss in a year and sent them into the finals of the European Championship for the third consecutive year.