Zahovic off but Slovenia hang on
Ten-man Slovenia edged out Hungary 2-1 in Murska Sobota ahead of their next round of UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifiers.
Slovenia's victory came thanks to goals from Sebastjan Cimirotic and Goran Sukola. However, inspirational midfield player and captain Zlatko Zahovic was shown his second yellow card and dismissed on 70 minutes.
The game had got off to a quick start, as Slovenia took the lead after just three minutes. Aleksander Knav's close-range header deflected off Goran Sukalo and past the stranded Hungarian goalkeeper Gábor Kiraly. "Perhaps it wasn't the most beautiful of goals, but it was fair and I'm really happy I scored," said Sukalo.
Slovenia's lead lasted well into the second-half, but when Zahovic was sent off the tables looked to have turned. However, it was Slovenia who extended their lead. Only six minutes after the dismissal, Cimirotic rifled home an excellent volley.
Hungary's Miklós Fehér scored a late consolation in injury time, heading in a corner from close range, but it did not alter the final result. "This match was surely much better than the last one we played in Antalya [against Israel]," said Slovenia coach Bojan Prašnikar. "Today the heat perhaps took its toll but some players today did their job in the best possible manner."
Slovenia will take heart from the result ahead of their forthcoming EURO 2004™ qualifiers. They currently lie second behind France in Group 1 and face Israel at home on 6 September, before hosting the group leaders on 10 September. Hungary meanwhile, are second behind Sweden on goal difference in Group 4, having played a game more. They next take on Latvia on 10 September.
Id just like to know how everyone played. Could someone give me their opinions please.