BUDAPEST: Hungary secured their return to a major finals for the first time in 30 years with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Norway in their Euro 2016 qualifying play-off.

Leading through debutant Laszlo Kleinheisler’s first-leg goal, Tamas Priskin struck early in the first half before Norway’s Markus Henriksen scored at both ends late on in the hosts’ 2-1 win on the night.

Only five of their squad were even born when Hungary played at the 1986 Mexico World Cup and, of those, only veteran goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was in the starting line-up on this occasion.

History was against the Norwegians because no team had ever progressed after losing the first leg of a play-off at home.

Missed chances in first leg cost them and they came up short in front of goal in Budapest also, although Kiraly’s goal hardly came under huge pressure.

But what really cost them was conceding the all-important second goal in the tie in the 14th minute.

Safety cushion

For all of Hungary’s historic footballing pedigree it came via a route-one ball out of defence aimed at Priskin in the inside-left channel.

The clearance appeared to catch Norway half-asleep and the Slovan Bratislava and former Watford striker cut inside Even Hovland and the back-tracking Vegard Forren to fire right-footed into the far top corner for his 17th goal in 54 matches for his country.

Now with a two-goal cushion Hungary’s anxiety eased, but Kiraly still had to be alert to save with his legs from Haitam Aleesami after Mohamed Elyounoussi had mis-kicked in front of goal.

Gergo Lovrencsics had the chance to put the match beyond doubt, but failed to hit the target with his far-post header, while Hovland’s header against the foot of the upright on the stroke of half-time from 16-year-old Martin Odegaard’s corner suggested fortune was not favouring Norway.

After the break Hungary captain Balazs Dzsudzsak had a shot deflected on to the crossbar and then forced Orjan Nyland into a good low save after a driving run, with Kiraly denying substitute Marcus Pedersen with his body after a mistake by Guzmics at the other end.

The centre-back more than made up for that slip by forcing Henriksen to turn a corner into his own net seven minutes from time and, although the forward then scored at the correct end moments later, it could not retrieve the situation.