'Can't believe it': World stunned by 'insane' scenes at Euro 2020

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Hungary's players, pictured here celebrating with fans after their 1-1 draw with France.
Hungary's players celebrate with fans after their 1-1 draw with France. (Photo by TIBOR ILLYES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

There were incredible scenes at Euro 2020 on Saturday as a capacity crowd of 65,000 packed into the Puskas Arena in Budapest for Hungary's 1-1 draw with France.

The mainly Hungarian crowd was a first for international football since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Hungarian Football Association have decided to pack their national stadium for four Euro 2020 matches based on their government's vaccination program.

Hungarian health authorities estimated that 5.3 million out of a total population of 9.8 million had been vaccinated by the start of Euro 2020 on June 11.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban defied advice from the European Union to make use of vaccines from Russia and China to accelerate the easing of national lockdown regulations.

The fast-tracked vaccination rollout has meant the return of capacity crowds, with fans jammed into the Puskas Arena on Saturday without having to wear face-masks.

And the 65,000 in attendance were sent into absolute raptures when Attila Fiola gave the hosts a shock lead in first-half stoppage time.

The rest of the world was left in disbelief at the extraordinary scenes in Hungary.

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Hungary secure hard-fought draw with France

Antoine Griezmann salvaged a point for France as the world champions missed the chance to clinch a place in the Euro 2020 last 16.

Hungary threatened to blow Group F wide open when Fiola caught out the France defence.

But Griezmann, the Golden Boot winner at Euro 2016, equalised on 66 minutes as an unconvincing France avoided a first competitive defeat since June 2019.

Attila Fiola, pictured here after scoring for Hungary against France.
Attila Fiola celebrates after scoring for Hungary against France. (Photo by Alex Livesey - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

"It's a point, it's not what we were hoping for, but given the context we'll take it all the same," France coach Didier Deschamps told TF1.

"After a first half in which we should have led, we found ourselves trailing after their only chance.

"Obviously playing in front of their fans and that support, it gave them strength."

Deschamps' side top the section with four points, one above Germany and Portugal after the Germans beat the reigning champions 4-2 later on Saturday.

"This is one of the best days of my life, even the best," said Fiola.

"We got a great result, I am proud of the team, and the fans who created an amazing atmosphere today, we showed that we could play braver, more attacking football than versus Portugal, it's been an incredible day."

Hungary fans, pictured here packed into Puskas Arena for Hungary's clash with France.
Hungary fans packed Puskas Arena for Hungary's clash with France at Euro 2020. (Photo by LASZLO BALOGH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

France stay in Budapest for their final game against Portugal, while Hungary travel to Munich to take on Germany, still hoping to qualify for the knockout phase for a second straight tournament.

Later on Saturday, Robert Lewandowski helped keep Poland alive by scoring the second-half equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Alvaro Morata ended his scoring drought by putting Spain ahead in the 25th minute, but Lewandowski evened things in the 54th with a header for only his third goal with the national team at a major tournament.

Spain striker Gerard Moreno missed a penalty kick shortly after Lewandowski's goal and Morata then missed an open net after after the ball rebounded off the post.

The result leaves Sweden at the top of Group E with four points after their win over Slovakia on Friday. 

Slovakia are second with three points while Spain have two. Poland still have a chance of advancing at Euro 2020 despite being last in the group with one point.

with agencies

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