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Hungary’s Desk Lady Was The Real Hero Against France

Hungary played damn well for about 80 minutes against Portugal on Tuesday only to give up three goals late. On Saturday, the once-mighty Magyars put a full 100 minutes in and held world champion France to a 1-1 draw in one of the most impressive upsets of the tournament thus far. But forget the match for a moment, because the biggest story of the game was a pitch-side reporter’s reaction to Hungary’s goal. The Hungary desk woman is our new favorite meme of Euro 2020. 

France dominated possession the way I dominate a patty melt from Whataburger but fell behind in first-half stoppage time when Benjamin Pavard and Raphaël Varane decided it was too much work to defend Attila Fiola’s languid run into the French box. Hugo Lloris was beaten at his near post and Les Bleus were trailing. 

Fiola’s celebration took him into corner of the stadium where Hungarian fans were delirious, and one woman was mostly oblivious to what was about to descend upon her. Fiola slammed a make-shift desk and swatted a few water bottles away as a reporter looked up in surprise that she was suddenly the center of attention of the footballing world. 

The woman became an instant meme, her startled-yet-excited look the perfect summation of Hungary’s surprise lead. 

Unfortunately for the desk lady and most of the 60,000 fans at Puskás Aréna in Budapest, there was still a second half to play, and eventually France was able to pull even. 

Les Bleus, a team with some of the most technically gifted players in the world, had to go Route 1 to finally score, with Lloris sending a long punt deep into Hungary’s half for Kylian Mbappé to chase down. The PSG striker held the ball up and sent in a cross that eventually fell to Antoine Griezmann to smash home.

Mbappé’s hold-up play was superb; he was mostly quiet on Saturday but showed he can play any role across the front line. Griezmann meanwhile is now third in scoring all time in Euro history, tied on seven with England’s Alan Shearer behind only France’s Michel Platini and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. 

France was unable to find a winner — and substitute Ousmane Dembélé worryingly had to be substituted with an injury — as Hungary held on for a memorable draw. 

France now leads Group F ahead of the Germany-Portugal match, and Les Bleus will still like their chances to go through with four points in the bag, but there’s still a lot of football to be played. Hungary kept its hopes of advancing out of the group of death alive, knowing a win over Germany on Wednesday in Munich could do the trick. 

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