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Southgate seeks excuses as Hungary defeat England to kids delight

England's Nations League campaign was off to a losing start as a disappointing display brought a deserved defeat by Hungary in Budapest.

It was played in front of a large crowd, consisting mainly of schoolchildren allowed in under Uefa rules after a fans ban - and the young supporters revelled in a poor England performance and Dominik Szoboszlai's winning goal from the penalty spot after Reece James fouled Zsolt Nagy.

The start of the game was overshadowed by loud jeering of England's players as they took the knee and what followed was a jaded, mediocre effort that carried all the hallmarks of the end of a long season.

West Ham's Jarrod Bowen worked hard on his debut but Leicester defender James Justin, also making his first appearance, suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Bukayo Saka - though the Arsenal man produced a rare England threat with a fine run and shot that Hungary keeper Peter Gulacsi saved with his legs.

England now move on to Munich, where they face Germany in their second Nations League A3 game on Tuesday.

England coach Gareth Southgate said: "We have to accept that we did not do enough to win the game, a draw would have been the fair outcome. We did not create too many clear-cut chances and the actual result hinged on a decision which is harsh but probably won't be overturned.

"Once it has been given as a penalty, he probably will not overturn it. You see challenges like that in the box, Reece James puts his body between the ball and the forward makes a meal of it. Away from home sometimes you will get those calls.

"It has been a long season. The heat was a factor and took a lot out of the players and we tried to refresh the team earlier than normal. The balance of finding out about new things and the consistency of the regular team, I have to look at whether I got that right.

"I don't want to be too harsh on them, these are games we need to learn from. They are bitterly disappointed because we want to keep winning matches. If we want to be a team right at the top tier of football, we need to come here and win."

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