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Hungary dedicates win to stricken Varga after 'terrible' injury

Updated: 2024-06-25 09:31
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STUTTGART, Germany — Hungary winger Roland Sallai dedicated Sunday's 1-0 win over Scotland at Euro 2024 to Barnabas Varga who was stretchered off and taken to hospital after a sickening collision that will rule him out of the rest of the tournament.

Varga collapsed to the pitch in Stuttgart and was struggling to move after chasing a long cross into the area and colliding with Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn who came out to claim the ball late in the second half.

After a long delay, medics took the 29-year-old player from the pitch, while sheets were draped around the stretcher in scenes that were eerily reminiscent of Christian Eriksen's departure from Euro 2020 after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark's match against Finland.

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai appeared to be in tears as he consoled his stricken teammate.

"It was terrible. It was a terrible moment to see Barnabas like that," said Sallai.

"Fortunately he is in a much better condition. He is probably going to have to go for a minor operation.

"We cross our fingers that he can return quickly. Naturally, it was a terrible incident. Of course we were fighting for him in the remaining 15-20 minutes. We wanted to win for him and we dedicate the win to him."

Coach Marco Rossi said Varga suffered what appeared to be a facial fracture.

"It was a confusing situation. What I heard from the players is that, at that moment, Barny looked like he was not conscious, so everyone was really worried about his condition and also worried about the fact that the doctors arrived a bit late," said Rossi.

"But, of course they probably didn't realize how dangerous a situation it was. Fortunately, we can say now that Barny is not in any kind of danger.

"He will probably be operated on in the coming hours, because he suffered a fracture," Rossi said pointing to his cheek just below the eye. "If we go through, of course, he will not be part of the team."

Varga was immediately taken to hospital after the incident.

"The condition of Barnabas Varga is stable," the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) wrote on X.

"The Hungarian national team player is currently in one of the hospitals in Stuttgart. We will inform you immediately if there is any further news."

German broadcaster Magenta TV reported that Varga was conscious and talking when he arrived at hospital in Stuttgart.

Kevin Csoboth grabbed the winning goal in the 10th minute of stoppage time in the Group A game to keep the team's hopes of making the last 16 alive.

Scotland misery

Scotland was unable to secure the victory that would likely have taken it into the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time.

In 11 previous appearances at major competitions — eight World Cups and three European Championships — Scotland has bowed out at the group stage.

Once again, it will fly home early after taking just one point from its three matches.

Steve Clarke's team, which lost to Germany and drew with Switzerland in its first two games, was sunk by Csoboth's goal 10 minutes into stoppage-time.

Bemoaning a rejected penalty appeal for a challenge on Stuart Armstrong, Clarke said: "I don't understand how VAR can look at that and say it's not a penalty.

"The overriding feeling is to be sad for everybody that we are out."

Hungary has three points from its three games and now faces an agonizing wait to find out if it will progress.

The four third-placed teams with the best records from the six groups will move into the last 16.


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