Kiraly sets record as Hungary beats Austria 2-0 at Euro 2016
BORDEAUX, FRANCE >> Even at Gabor Kiraly's age, winning a match at the European Championship was something new.
The Hungary goalkeeper set an age record at the tournament on Tuesday and helped his team beat Austria 2-0 with several good stops.
"He contributed to this victory," Hungary coach Bernd Storck said of Kiraly, the first 40-year-old player to participate in the continental championship. "He was rewarded for all of his hard work over the years."
Adam Szalai gave Hungary the lead at Stade de Bordeaux with his first goal in 12 appearances. Substitute Zoltan Stieber added the other after Austria was reduced to 10 men when Aleksandar Dragovic was shown a second yellow card.
"I don't want to talk about myself. The whole team won," Szalai said. "Everyone worked together. I think we managed to do everything our manager told us in terms of advice and strategy."
It was the first European Championship match for Hungary in 44 years and the first tournament the country has qualified for since the 1986 World Cup. The next one will come against Iceland on Saturday in Marseille. Portugal is also in Group F.
By playing Tuesday, Kiraly surpassed the previous age record set by Germany great Lothar Matthaus by almost a year. Kiraly is 40 years and 75 days, while Matthaus was 39 years and 91 days when Germany played Portugal at Euro 2000.
"He was chosen because he's a great player," Storck said. "I've never said I've got old players and good players, I've got players and it doesn't matter how old you are. I think he's one of the best goalkeepers in the world."
Kiraly, wearing his trademark gray sweatpants, did contribute to the victory. He dived to block a shot from Zlatko Junuzovic in the 35th minute and smothered a shot from David Alaba in the 10th.
Austria was favored in the match between the two neighboring countries and was an outsider for the tournament title after going through qualification unbeaten and finishing at the top of its group, eight points above Russia.
"The start of the match was very good," Austria coach Marcel Koller said. "We had good combination play which got us in front of goal. All in all we were too nervous. I'm not used to my team doing this."
Szalai scored in the 62nd minute after playing a one-two with Hungary teammate Laszlo Kleinheisler. He ran into the box and latched onto the return pass before shooting under Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer.
Austria thought it had equalized moments after the Hungary goal, when Martin Hinteregger put the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for a foul and Dragovic was sent off with a second yellow card.
Stieber made it 2-0 in the 87th, bursting down the right flank from inside his own half and lifting a long ball over the onrushing Almer.
Alaba, a defender who plays for Bayern Munich, was at the heart of most of Austria's attacking moves. He nearly scored in the opening minute but his 25-yard effort hit the bottom of the right post.
"I think we were still the better team, even though that might be shocking," Alaba said. "Now we just have to forget this and push on."
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