Hungary are on the verge of sealing a 2016 Euro finals berth in France as they prepare to face Norway in the second leg of the Playoffs on Sunday at Groupama Arena in Budapest.
The first leg of the playoffs produced an entertaining game, with Hungary defeating Norway 1-0 in Oslo, which has given the Hungarian side a crucial away-goal advantage.
László Kleinheisler's 26th-minute strike has increased hopes for Hungary, so much so that even a draw is enough for the home side to book their ticket to France. But make no mistake: Norway will not be an easy opponent in the second leg.
Norway, who dominated the first leg in Oslo, were unfortunate not to find the back of the net, but their players will be more than determined to defeat Hungary and clinch the prestigious berth.
Hungary, who will be playing at home, are at an advantageous position and their style of play in Budapest remains to be seen. Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo believes if they score a goal in Budapest, things could change drastically.
"We only need a goal in Budapest to change the complexion of this tie. It will be interesting to see how Hungary approach the game — do they sit back or come at us?" UEFA official website quoted Hogmo as saying.
Hogmo is expected to make some changes in Sunday's game against Hungary. "This tie isn't over. Football is a game full of surprises: That is why we love it. Even before the home game, I thought we'd need to change the lineup for Sunday to ensure fresh legs and that conviction has not changed," he said.
Norway still have a chance of making it to France, but their offensive players need to be clinical in front of the goal and score when a chance comes by. Norway had 21 shots on goal during the first leg, but could not find the back of the net even once, which was utterly disappointing.
If they come up with a similar performance again, they can kiss their 2016 Euro Cup dreams goodbye. However, one should also give credit to Hungary, who looked strong in the first leg despite being deemed second-best in the playoffs.
Hungary coach Bernd Storck wants his team come up with another great performance against Norway on Sunday. Storck also does not want to think about history, which shows the Hungarian national team last qualified for the European championships in 1972.
"We want to play some [good] football tomorrow. We are not thinking about the past or the history [of Hungary's absence from major tournaments] – we are only focusing on doing what we have planned for this match," said Storck.
Where to watch live
The crucial Hungary vs Norway second leg Euro 2016 qualifiers playoff is scheduled for 8:45 pm local time (1:15 am IST, 7:45 pm BST, 2:45 pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Sony Kix with live streaming on Livsports.
Viewers in the US can catch Hungary vs Norway second leg Euro 2016 qualifiers playoff on ESPN while the live stream option is on Watch ESPN while viewers in the UK can enjoy the live Hungary vs Norway second leg Euro 2016 qualifiers playoff on Sky Sports 5/HD with an option of going online on Sky Go.
Football fans in Norway can watch the game on TVNorge.