Greece in last eight despite loss

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Greece progressed to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 for the first time in their history despite losing 2-1 to Russia at the Algarve Stadium yesterday.

Greece in last eight despite loss
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Paro:

Greece progressed to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 for the first time in their history despite losing 2-1 to Russia at the Algarve Stadium yesterday. When the draw for Group A was made for the European championships, Portugal and Spain were favourites to progress but Greece defied their poor record in major finals to reach the last eight. Finalists in 1988, Russia had already exited the competition after two successive defeats. Russia had not scored in the opening two games in Portugal but took just two minutes to open their account with Greece's backline caught on the wrong foot. Dmitri Kirichenko pounced on some hesitant defending outside the penalty area and rifled home the quickest goal in Euro 2004 history. It seemed Greece's chances of making it to second round were beginning to evaporate as Dmitri Bulykin scored another goal to make it 2-0 for the Russians. Greece strikes back Greece then pulled a goal back through Zisis Vryzas in the 43rd minute with the marksman turning neatly in the box and chipping the ball over Viacheslav Malafeev. At half-time, Russia led 2-1. In the dying minutes, the Russians nearly scored a third goal, which would have eliminated the Greeks, but the ball seemed just out of reach. The final whistle bought joy and relief to the Greek players and fans as it was the first time that they had qualified for the knockout stages of a major football competition. (With wire inputs)

Topics : Football
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