England confirm Hungary as first Wembley game

December 23, 2005

Hungary have been confirmed as England's first opponents at the new Wembley stadium as part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's preparations for the World Cup finals.

Hungary were the first team to beat England on home soil, winning 6-3 at the old Wembley stadium in November 1953.

Now they have been lined up to face England on May 30 at the new Wembley, with Eriksson looking to prepare his side to face Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Paraguay in their World Cup group.

Although the Football Association have booked Cardiff's Millennium Stadium as a back-up plan for the FA Cup final just 17 days earlier, the FA are still confident that Wembley will be ready in time.

Eriksson, meanwhile, told the FA's website: 'Hungary have a huge football tradition. Although they have not qualified for major tournaments recently, they are always a technical, imaginative team.

'They have some regular players with English clubs, like West Brom's Zoltan Gera and Crystal Palace's Gabor Kiraly, who we will be watching closely.

'I know there is a great deal of history attached to England v Hungary fixtures.''

England last faced Hungary in Budapest in 1999, drawing 1-1 with a largely experimental side under Kevin Keegan, while Lothar Matthaus' current side finished fourth in Group Eight, behind Croatia, Sweden and Bulgaria.