Greece beat Denmark 2-1 in qualifier

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:49 IST

Greece beat Denmark 2-1 to rekindle their World Cup qualifying hopes before a 33,000 capacity crowd at the Karaiskaki Stadium on Wednesday.

Greece beat Denmark 2-1 in qualifier

Karaiskaki Stadium:

Greece beat Denmark 2-1 to rekindle their World Cup qualifying hopes before a 33,000 capacity crowd at the Karaiskaki Stadium on Wednesday. Greece had only beaten Denmark twice in their history, the last time was way back in 1980, but their triumph at Euro 2004 meant that an expectant crowd demanded three points. With five points from four games, the Greeks lay in fifth place beneath runaway leaders Ukraine and Denmark, Turkey and Albania who lay just one point ahead. Fierce drive They should have taken an early lead but the unmarked Giorgios Karagounis hit the post with this fierce drive. Soon after, Steven Lustu and Thomas Gravesen fouled Zisis Vryzas, Italian referee Pierluigi Collina awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. However, the action was too fast for the cameras as Zagorakis took a quick free-kick while the lens was pointed at Vryzas and the ball flew into the top corner for the opening goal of the game. It was his first goal in 101 internationals and the director missed it! Thankfully, the replays will allow Zagorakis to relive his moment of glory. Doubling the lead The hosts doubled their lead after 32 minutes when from a quick Karagounis free-kick, Gravesen crudely fouled Stelios Giannakopoulos at the far post to concede a penalty. The eagle-eyed Collina brandished a yellow card before Angelos Basinas sent Sorensen the wrong way from the spot to double the lead. However, Denmark were literally handed a lifeline in the first minute of first-half stoppage-time when Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis fumbled a deep cross from the left and Dennis Rommedahl was on hand to reduce the deficit as he scored on the half-volley. That inspired the visitors as they dominated the second half but their best chance of a crucial equaliser did not arrive until the 91st minute. Unlike the first half, they could not conjure another late goal as after Christian Poulsen and Gravesen combined in the second minute of injury-time and Rommedahl played Gravesen's cross into the path of substitute Peter Madsen, he blazed over the bar when he should have equalised. When the countdown to Germany 2006 enters its final stages, Madsen may well come to rue a very costly miss as Greece finally ended their Danish hoodoo with a first win over their group two opponents for 25 years. (AP)

Topics : Football Greece
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