herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Long wary of talent in Hungary

SHANE LONG has a personal insight into the test that Ireland will face against Hungary tonight in Budapest, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

While neither goalkeeper Marton Fulop nor midfielder Zoltan Gera will be in the Hungary squad for the game with Ireland, Long says he knows from playing with the duo at West Brom just how much talent Hungary have.

"I'm looking forward to the Hungary game, we have two Hungarian internationals at West Brom and they are excited to be playing us," says Long.

"Zoltan Gera is a big player for them and he's a brilliant player but he's not in their squad for tonight, he's injured.

"But he's coming to the game anyway, from what he told me. We were speaking about this game before the season ended at West Brom and I had a text from him a while back, saying he had been on holiday but that he was coming back to Budapest to see this game and to see Hungary play us. He's due to be in the stands tonight.

"We had Fulop at West Brom for a while last season and he didn't even make the squad for this game so that shows how much talent they have. They must have a really strong squad if they can leave out players like that."

Silva seals Spain win

Spain made it three friendly wins in just over a week with a narrow victory over China but had to wait until six minutes from time to find the winner through David Silva.

Indeed it was the Chinese who had the better of the first period and Zheng Zhi twice should have put the Asians ahead, but he fluffed his lines after rounding Iker Casillas early on and was then denied by a wonderful reaction save from the Real Madrid keeper 15 minutes before half-time.

The world champions were much improved after the break and were desperately unlucky not to be in front as Raul Albiol and Andres Iniesta rattled the crossbar and Zeng Cheng made fine saves to deny Iniesta, Silva and Fernando Torres.

The winner eventually arrived on 84 minutes when, after a wonderful run past four defenders, Iniesta squared for Silva to roll home the easiest of finishes.

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