England were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Hungary amid crowd trouble at Wembley on Tuesday, meaning a nervy penultimate qualifier with Albania awaits in November if they are to secure automatic passage to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Hungary had been beaten 4-0 by England last month but took the lead when Luke Shaw’s high boot allowed Roland Sallai to score from the penalty spot (24) and a back-post finish from John Stones (37) was required to pull the hosts level.
Raheem Sterling headed against a post on the stroke of half-time as England began to find their stride but despite dominating the second period and seeing good chances passed up by Sterling and Harry Kane – who was surprisingly substituted with 15 minutes to play – there was no way through for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Earlier, Hungary supporters – who had been punished for racist abuse of England players when the sides met in September – booed the home side taking a knee, held up a banner against the gesture for equality, fought with police in the stands, and released a flare when they scored. One arrest was made for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward.
Hungary had seen their own chances of reaching Qatar diminish since losing to England, with Albania beating them home and away, but their draw at Wembley means Group I leaders England need four points from their remaining games against Albania and San Marino to be sure of the automatic qualifications spot.