Nigel Worthington, the Northern Ireland manager, saw his team suffer a bout of home sickness in their final international of the year.
The discomfort was self-inflicted as the province payed the price for some sloppy defensive play. Second-half goals from Sandor Torghelle and Zoltan Gera were enough to give Hungary the victory they deserved.
The away team dominated and took the lead in the 57th minute after a surging run from Szabolcs Huszti, who clipped the ball back from the byline, and Torghelle made no mistake from close range. Northern Ireland responded on the hour and felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Warren Feeney was felled by Roland Juhasz, but Robert Schoergenhofer, the referee, waved play on.
However, the visitors regrouped and went 2-0 ahead in the 71st minute with a goal out of nothing from Fulham's Gera. The midfielder latched on to a clearance from goalkeeper Gabor Babos and with Jonny Evans backing off, he rifled a superb shot into the net from 25 yards..
Northern Ireland: Taylor (Birmingham City), Duff (Burnley), Evans (Manchester United), Baird (Fulham), McGivern (Manchester City), Gillespie (Sheffield United), Clingan (Norwich City), O'Connor (Crewe Alexandra), Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Lafferty (Rangers), Healy (Sunderland). Substitutes: Mannus (Linfield), Tuffey (Partick Thistle), McGinn (Derry City), Feeney (Cardiff City), Shiels (Hibernian), Paterson (Burnley), Thompson (Stockport County).
Hungary: Babos, Bodnar, Rudolf, Juhasz, Vanczak, Halmosi, Toth, Vadocz, Huszti, Gera, Torghelle. Substitutes: Fulop, Vermes, Feczesin, Horvath, Dardai, Dzsudzsak, Szalai.
Referee: R Schoergenhofer (Austria).Reuse content