International Friendlies

Hungary 0-1 Scotland

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland in Budapest

Matt Phillips scored his first international goal as Scotland earned their first win of Alex McLeish's second spell in charge against Hungary.

James Forrest missed two good chances and captain Charlie Mulgrew's penalty was saved after Ryan Fraser was felled.

But Phillips tapped home Fraser's cross three minutes into the second half.

Scotland keeper Allan McGregor twice denied Roland Varga and then Adam Szalai after a mistake from Mulgrew as the visitors held on in Budapest.

Victory followed Friday's lacklustre 1-0 home defeat by Costa Rica at Hampden Park.

Scotland's next friendlies will come on an end-of-season tour against Peru, on 29 May, and Mexico, on 2 June, as they continue to prepare for the Nations League starting in September.

McLeish made seven changes from the line-up that lost to Costa Rica, with Celtic defender Jack Hendry making his debut and Bournemouth winger Fraser getting a first start.

Scotland started with real tempo, closing down players quickly - exactly what they did not do in their last outing.

The condition of the pitch was problematic though. It was too patchy, causing players to lose control at vital moments.

Charlie Mulgrew misses a penalty for Scotland
Charlie Mulgrew saw his penalty saved, but Scotland regrouped in the second half

Forrest was first to threaten when he gathered a lay-off from Phillips but fired off target.

The home side responded with Gergo Lovrencsics sending a 30-yard effort wide of McGregor's post.

Hungary captain Balazs Dzsudzsak then fired a free-kick towards the top corner which McGregor did well to palm away.

Despite those chances, Scotland looked largely comfortable against a side in transition. Hungary lacked confidence and have limited ability, as recent results demonstrate.

Forrest had a weak effort saved after robbing a defender and John McGinn had a strike blocked after clever play from Callum McGregor.

A gift of a chance arrived late in the first half when Fraser was rashly upended by Laszlo Kleinheisler right on the edge of the area.

Mulgrew thumped the penalty to Gulacsi's left but the goalkeeper produced a great save and fans must have wondered if it would be another frustrating evening for McLeish's side.

However, Scotland responded to that setback with a goal of genuine quality.

Matt Phillips puts Scotland ahead
Matt Phillips scored his first international goal to put Scotland ahead

Fraser delivered a skidding cross from the right, it deflected into Phillips' path and the West Brom winger, deployed as a central striker, confidently stroked the ball home.

Phillips might have had another but elected to pass when the shot was on from a counter-attack.

The goal lifted Scotland's confidence and from that point the visitors were largely in control.

Having missed from the spot, Mulgrew's evening almost got worse when he gifted possession to Adam Szalai, allowing the towering striker a free run at McGregor.

The 36-year-old Hull keeper blocked brilliantly and then watched Szalai's flick creep narrowly past moments later.

It was a moment that might have undermined Scotland's evening and against better opponents would probably have been punished.

On a more positive note for the defence, Scott McKenna looked strong once again and Hendry impressed. Suddenly, Scotland appear to have depth at centre-half, a problem area for previous manager Gordon Strachan.

McLeish will take many positives from this win along with one or two learning opportunities to work on. It was a valuable exercise.



Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Gulácsi
  • 5Fiola
  • 4OtigbaBooked at 90mins
  • 20Guzmics
  • 14Lovrencsics
  • 16PintérSubstituted forElekat 45'minutesBooked at 66mins
  • 15KleinheislerSubstituted forPátkaiat 67'minutes
  • 24HangyaSubstituted forSzabóat 45'minutes
  • 17VargaSubstituted forNikolicat 83'minutes
  • 9SzalaiBooked at 46minsSubstituted forBödeat 77'minutes
  • 7DzsudzsákSubstituted forNémethat 58'minutes


  • 2Lang
  • 3Szabó
  • 6Elek
  • 8Nagy
  • 10Ugrai
  • 11Németh
  • 12Dibusz
  • 13Böde
  • 18Stieber
  • 19Eppel
  • 21Bese
  • 22Kovacsik
  • 23Nikolic
  • 25Pátkai
  • 26Botka


Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1McGregor
  • 4Hendry
  • 5MulgrewBooked at 49mins
  • 6McKenna
  • 2FraserSubstituted forPatersonat 82'minutes
  • 8McGinnBooked at 86mins
  • 7S ArmstrongSubstituted forMcLeanat 70'minutes
  • 3RobertsonSubstituted forDouglasat 67'minutes
  • 11ForrestSubstituted forChristieat 77'minutes
  • 10McGregorBooked at 42minsSubstituted forCummingsat 90+3'minutes
  • 9PhillipsSubstituted forMcBurnieat 84'minutes


  • 12Archer
  • 13Christie
  • 14McBurnie
  • 15McDonald
  • 16Paterson
  • 17Cummings
  • 18McLean
  • 19Douglas
  • 20Murphy
  • 21McLaughlin
  • 22Cairney
Harald Lechner

Match Stats

Home TeamHungaryAway TeamScotland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hungary 0, Scotland 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hungary 0, Scotland 1.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Jason Cummings (Scotland).

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Jason Cummings replaces Callum McGregor.

  5. Booking

    Kenny Otigba (Hungary) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Oliver McBurnie (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Otigba (Hungary).

  8. Post update

    Allan McGregor (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Nemanja Nikolic (Hungary).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Callum McGregor (Scotland).

  11. Post update

    Máté Pátkai (Hungary) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Booking

    John McGinn (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).

  14. Post update

    Gergö Lovrencsics (Hungary) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Offside, Hungary. Péter Gulácsi tries a through ball, but Máté Pátkai is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Scotland).

  17. Post update

    Krisztián Németh (Hungary) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Oliver McBurnie replaces Matt Phillips.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Hungary. Nemanja Nikolic replaces Roland Varga.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Callum Paterson replaces Ryan Fraser.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC