Krisztian Nemeth scored two goals on Sunday as the Hungary Men’s National Team fell to Greece 4-3 but moved closer to qualifying for UEFA Euro 2016.
The Sporting Kansas City forward played the entire match and twice fired Hungary into a second-half lead at Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens. Greece restored parity after both goals and conjured a game-winner in the 86th minute, but Nemeth and the Magyars remain in position to qualify for the European Championship for the first time since 1972.
Hungary (4-2-4, 16 points) finishes its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in third place in Group F behind Northern Ireland (21 points) and Romania (20 points). The top two teams from each group — as well as the third-place team with the most points — advance directly to Euro 2016 next June. Hungary currently holds the top position among third-place teams and will clinch a tournament berth if:
- Spain wins or ties against Ukraine on Monday, and
- Iceland wins or ties against Turkey OR Latvia wins or ties against Kazahstan on Tuesday.
Should results fall against their favor, Nemeth and Hungary will join the remaining seven third-place teams for a two-legged playoff next month to determine the final four teams in the competition.
Hungary and Greece traded first-half goals before Nemeth marked his name on the second stanza. In the 54th minute, he latched onto a glancing header at the far post to give Hungary a 2-1 advantage. Following an equalizer from the Greeks, Nemeth sent a thunderous strike into the roof of the net on 75 minutes for his third career international goal.
Nemeth now has three goals in 21 appearances for the Magyars since debuting in 2010. He has earned six of those caps in 2015—a season during which he has excelled for Sporting Kansas City. Nemeth was named club Newcomer of the Year on Saturday and has recorded 15 goals and seven assists in all competitions. The 26-year-old shared the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Golden Boot honor with teammate Dom Dwyer, bagging five goals including an equalizer in the Final that Sporting Kansas City won on penalties.