Finally Ethnikara...

NEWS SPORT Finally Ethnikara

NEWS-SPORT Finally Ethnikara

The Greek National Team defeated Australia 1-2 in today’s international friendly and recorded their first win outside of Greece since the 2014 World Cup. Greece has not been performing up to their standards in previous friendlies but put on a good showing against a tough opponent today. Mantalos opened the score while Maniatis’ goal from behind midfield was the the highlight of the game.

The Greeks of Melbourne created a fantastic atmosphere for the National Team and welcomed the Galanolefki as The Greek National Anthem was heard throughout the Etihad Stadium. Greece was the better side in the opening minutes and opened the score when Samaris played a beautiful through ball to Mantalos, who found the back of the net. The goal came in the 8th minute and it was Mantalos’ first goal with the National Team. Greece gave space to Australia and looked to hit the Aussies on the counterattack, a playing style that seemed to benefit Greece. In the 21st minute, Maniatis scored a magnificent goal from behind midfield (55 meters), doubling Greece’s lead. The Greek midfielder saw the Australian goalie off his line and brilliantly scored his first goal with the National Team. In the second half, Australia controlled the possession, but failed to threaten Greece’s goal. The defense was headed by Papastathopoulos and the Galanolefki stood firm in the back, giving little opportunities to the home side. Australia’s first chance of the game came in the 49th minute from a corner and 4 minutes later, Torosidis came close to giving Greece a 3 goal lead. The Australians were able to cut the lead to one goal in the 58th minute with Sainsbury. Greece looked unprepared from set plays in yet another friendly match and conceded their only goal from a corner. Both teams failed to create chances towards the end of the second half and Greece celebrated their first win away from home since the 2014 World Cup (against the Ivory Coast).

The win will help morale as Greece continues to prepare for FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The National Team will begin qualifying in October (could change to September) and have been drawn in Group H with Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, and Cyprus. Greece will have one more friendly match before qualifying begins. They are scheduled to play a tough opponent, the Netherlands, on September 1st. Greece’s friendly against Russia for September 6th will most likely will be canceled.

Greece Line-Up: Kapino, Tzavellas, Papastathopoulos, Stafylidis, Torosidis, Maniatis (70' Tziolis), Samaris, Cholebas (66' Christodoulopoulos),  Mantalos, Vellios, Bakasetas (79' Papazoglou).

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