After being called into the Hungarian national team last week for a pair of friendlies, Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic started and scored his team's only goal in a 2-1 defeat against Luxembourg on Thursday afternoon.
Nikolic's goal came in the 18th minute, quickly erasing an early lead Luxembourg had taken just three minutes prior. However, Hungary were forced to play down a man after Gergö Lovrencsics received a second yellow card in the 52nd minute, and ultimately conceded the match-winner to Luxembourg in the 84th.
.@ChicagoFire striker Nemanja Nikolić scored for #Hungary 🇭🇺 in their 2-1 loss vs #Luxembourg 🇱🇺 in a friendly today. Close range header for his 4th goal in 24 caps. #LUXHUN #cf97 #MLS pic.twitter.com/ikdCJug7Nn— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) November 9, 2017
The 75-minute appearance was Nikolic's first for Hungary since a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Latvia on Oct. 16, 2016. Nikolic started and assisted on the opening goal of the match before being substituted in the 46th minute. His goal today marked his first for the national team since scoring the third goal in a 4-0 friendly win over Lithuania on June 5, 2015, and his fourth overall for Hungary.
Nikolic and the Hungarians will now host Costa Rica at Groupama Arena in Budapest on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Hungary did not advance to UEFA's second round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after finishing Group B play in third place with a 4-5-1 record.
Nikolic led Major League Soccer with 24 goals this season, was named the Chicago Fire's team MVP and is among five finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player as well as one of three finalists for the MLS Newcomer of the Year. The Newcomer of the Year will be announced on Nov. 20 and MVP on Dec. 4.