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Greece find Belgium a tough nut to crack

Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012, 23.13CET
Greece 1-1 Belgium
Dimitris Salpingidis gave the hosts an early lead, but they could not restore their advantage against ten men after Nacer Chadli levelled.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from Pankritio Stadium
Greece find Belgium a tough nut to crack
Greece had nothing to celebrate after Dimitris Salpingidis's opener ©Getty Images

Match statistics

GreeceBelgium

Goals scored1
 
1
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0

International Matches

Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012, 23.13CET

Greece find Belgium a tough nut to crack

Greece 1-1 Belgium
Dimitris Salpingidis gave the hosts an early lead, but they could not restore their advantage against ten men after Nacer Chadli levelled.

Solid defensively as usual but lacking imagination up front, UEFA EURO 2012 hopefuls Greece were held to a 1-1 draw by Belgium, despite the visitors playing for the final 30 minutes with ten players.

The hosts were in front in the ninth minute, Fanis Gekas lifting a loose ball over Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for Dimitris Salpingidis, who tapped in for his seventh international goal. However, Nacer Chadli headed the visitors level from Eden Hazard's corner, and Fernando Santos's side were unable to capitalise on Nicolas Lombaerts' 62nd-minute dismissal.

Greece lined up with Giannis Maniatis as a defensive midfielder for the first time and captain Kostas Katsouranis in more of a marshalling role than usual, so Salpingidis's early strike was encouraging. Maniatis fired one over not long afterwards, but Belgium then began to get more possession in midfield. They had gone close through Alex Witsel, whose shot cannoned wide off Avraam Papadopoulos, before Chadli beat debutant goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis on 32 minutes.

Kevin Mirallas was not far off scoring a second four minutes later, firing wide after Hazard sent him through on goal, and with Greece losing traction in midfield, Santos looked to make changes at the break. Lombaerts' dismissal for a second bookable offence might have signalled improved fortunes for Greece, but half-time replacement Romelu Lukaku continued to menace for the Red Devils, laying on one inviting chance that Thomas Vermaelen passed up, and going close himself later on.

The UEFA EURO 2004 winners looked to turn the screw in the final ten minutes, but came no closer than off-target long-range shots from substitutes Giorgos Karagounis and Kostas Fortounis. Thus Greece's last home game before they journey to Poland and Ukraine in June ended with more questions than answers.

 
Last updated: 16/04/12 7.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2009363/postmatch/report/index.html#greece+held+belgium

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Belgium

Belgium

KarnezisOrestis Karnezis (GK)
MignoletSimon Mignolet (GK)
Yellow Card89
HolebasJosé Holebas
KompanyVincent Kompany
Yellow Card76
A. PapadopoulosAvraam Papadopoulos
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
TorossidisVassilis Torossidis
Substitution46
LombaertsNicolas Lombaerts
Yellow Card22
Red Card61
PapastathopoulosSokratis Papastathopoulos
AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
ManiatisGiannis Maniatis
Substitution46
FellainiMarouane Fellaini
FotakisGiorgos Fotakis
Yellow Card20
Substitution64
DefourSteven Defour
Substitution82
KatsouranisKostas Katsouranis
WitselAxel Witsel
Substitution58
SamarasGiorgos Samaras
Substitution77
HazardEden Hazard
Substitution46
GekasFanis Gekas
Substitution86
ChadliNacer Chadli
Goal32
SalpingidisDimitris Salpingidis
Goal9
Substitution46
MirallasKevin Mirallas
Substitution64

Substitutes

K. PapadopoulosKyriakos Papadopoulos
Substitution46
LukakuRomelu Lukaku
Substitution46
FortounisKostas Fortounis
Substitution46
DembéléMousa Dembélé
Substitution58
Yellow Card58
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis
Substitution46
VertonghenJan Vertonghen
Substitution64
ChristodoulopoulosLazaros Christodoulopoulos
Substitution64
NainggolanRadja Nainggolan
Substitution82
AthanasiadisStefanos Athanasiadis
Substitution77
FetfatzidisGiannis Fetfatzidis
Substitution86

Coach

Fernando Santos (POR) Georges Leekens (BEL)

Referee

Daniel Stålhammar (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
 
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