Three Sporting Kansas City players represented their national teams on Tuesday as UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying continued in Europe.
Botond Barath and Hungary earned a massive 1-0 home win over Wales at Groupama Arena in Budapest, receiving a Mate Patkai goal in the 80th minute to vault into first place in Group E.
Barath (pictured above left) started and played the full 90 minutes in central defense, anchoring a resolute backline display that kept Gareth Bale (pictured above right) and Wales off the scoresheet. The 27-year-old earned his sixth career cap for the Magyars, while his Sporting teammate Krisztian Nemeth was an unused substitute.
Sporting defender Nico Hasler landed his second start in four days for Liechtenstein, claiming his 61st career cap in a 2-0 home loss to Finland in Vaduz. For the second straight game, Hasler went 90 minutes on the right side of midfield under head coach Helgi Kolviosson. The result leaves Liechtenstein at the bottom of Group J with four games played and six remaining.
Lastly, forward Johnny Russell collected his 12th cap for Scotland with a start at top-ranked Belgium at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. Russell logged 67 minutes in the 3-0 defeat as Belgium struck through English Premier League stars Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne. Russell and Scotland currently occupy fourth place in the six-team Group I.
Each UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying group will see five or six teams square off in a home-and-away, double-round-robin format through November 2019 for a total of eight or 10 matches. The top two finishers in each group will advance to UEFA Euro 2020, which is scheduled to take place in 12 cities across 12 different European countries during the summer of 2020. Teams that fail in qualifying group stage may still qualify for the final tournament through the competition’s playoffs next spring.
Barath, Nemeth, Hasler and Russell will now return to Kansas City, where they will be available for a U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 clash on June 18-19, should Sporting defeat Minnesota United FC in the Fourth Round on Wednesday night. The Open Cup clash at Allianz Field will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.