BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Substitute Valentin Stocker scored in the last minute to give Switzerland a 3-2 win away to Hungary on Friday after Adam Szalai had twice equalised for the hosts in a thrilling World Cup qualifier.
The Swiss went top of Group B with six points from two matches following a game in which all five goals were scored after halftime, while Hungary were left with one point and already look unlikely to make a first World Cup appearance since 1986.
The Faroe Islands are second with four points after their shock 2-0 win in Latvia, while Portugal and Latvia have three and Andorra none.
Switzerland struggled to get going in the first half without the suspended Granit Xhaka, who usually dictates the rhythm in midfield.
But striker Haris Seferovic, widely criticised for his performances at Euro 2016 when he failed to score a goal, put them in front six minutes after halftime, scoring from a rebound after Xherdan Shaqiri’s shot was saved by Peter Gulacsi.
Szalai equalised two minutes later, also from a rebound after his own shot hit the post.
Left back Ricardo Rodriguez put Switzerland back in front in the 67th minute, volleying home from Valon Behrami’s lofted cross for his first international goal, only for Szalai to again equalise four minutes later.
Switzerland were not to be denied, however, and snatched the points when a long thrown-in was twice headed on and Stocker scored at the far post.
“Hungary applied lots of pressure on us during the game which was intense and entertaining. Hungary came back at us twice, but we showed character at end,” Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic told reporters.
His Hungarian counterpart Bernd Storck added: “It was a dynamic and good game, both teams gave all they had. We are very disappointed because came back twice against a top team, but we made too many mistakes and they made us pay for them.”
Writing by Brian Homewood, additional reporting by Zoltan Fazekas, editing by Pritha Sarkar