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Slender win closes out Greece's preparations

Published: Thursday 31 May 2012, 23.45CET
Armenia 0-1 Greece
Fernando Santos' charges scored their first victory in five matches in Austria, but missed two penalties in the second half.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from Kufstein Arena
Slender win closes out Greece's preparations
Greece celebrate the only goal during their friendly against Armenia ©AFP

Match statistics

ArmeniaGreece

Goals scored0
1
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red Cards0
 
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International Matches

Published: Thursday 31 May 2012, 23.45CET

Slender win closes out Greece's preparations

Armenia 0-1 Greece
Fernando Santos' charges scored their first victory in five matches in Austria, but missed two penalties in the second half.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos was the matchwinner as Greece overcame a resilient Armenia 1-0 in their final match before UEFA EURO 2012.

With three draws and a defeat in their last four matches, Greece's preparations for Poland and Ukraine have not gone as planned prior to this much-needed win. The margin of victory would have been greater were it not for Greek profligacy and their second-half spot-kick shortcomings.

Fernando Santos' men got off to a lively start, and chances had already come and gone when Greece took the lead with a trademark goal in the 23rd minute, Papadopoulos heading in captain Giorgos Karagounis' back-post free-kick for his third goal in eight caps.

Greece were fluid in attack, and chances came with regularity. Karlen Mkrtchyan superbly blocked Fanis Gekas' goal-bound shot, before Armenian keeper Roman Berezovski twice denied the hosts - first from Karagounis' fierce shot then Kostas Fortounis' header.

Five substitutions contributed to Greece's level of performance dropping considerably in the second period, and they would have been made to pay if Michalis Sifakis had not impressively kept out Marcos Pizzelli. Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pizzelli then both went close.

Greece had the chance to put the game to bed on 71 minutes, when Giorgos Samaras was awarded a penalty after Sargis Hovsepyan's foul, but the Celtic FC striker's soft effort was easily blocked.

It was a case of déjà vu ten minutes later, as Mkrtchyan brought down Giannis Fetfatzidis for another spot-kick. This time Kostas Katsouranis stepped up to take the penalty, but once again Berezovski proved unbeatable and Greece had to settle for 1-0.

Greece return to Athens tomorrow for a two-day break and will travel to Poland on 3 June, before facing the co-hosts in the tournament opener five days later.

 
Last updated: 05/12/12 9.09CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2010182/postmatch/report/index.html#greece+squeeze+armenia

 
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