Hungary went ahead on the night from the penalty spot but John Stones equalised just before half-time, though an out-of-sorts England were unable to find a winner on a largely frustrating evening at Wembley.
Elsewhere in the group, Poland beat Albania to move three points behind England, but the Three Lions’ superior goal difference means a victory against either Albania or minnows San Marino in November will almost certainly guarantee their qualification.
The match was expected to be a heated affair after Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were racially abused in the reverse fixture in Budapest last month and the visiting supporters once again booed England’s players when they took the knee during kick-off.
Minutes later there were ugly scenes in the away end as Hungarian fans clashed with police, though as things cooled down in the stands they started to heat up on the pitch. Luke Shaw was deemed to have cleared the ball with a high boot inside the box and, despite not making any contact with Loic Nego, the referee awarded a spot-kick which was dispatched by Roland Sallai.
England were looking slow and laboured on the ball – their struggles typified by a lacklustre display from skipper Harry Kane – while Hungary defended stubbornly and resolutely.