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Greece sink Croatia to seize Group F initiative

Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.10CET
Greece 2-0 Croatia
Giorgos Samaras and Fanis Gekas weighed in with the goals as the home side leapfrogged their opponents at the Group F summit.
by Graham Wood
from Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium

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Match statistics

GreeceCroatia

Goals scored2
 
0
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts6
 
3
Attempts on target4
 
1
Attempts off target1
 
1
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners3
 
3
Offsides3
 
1
Yellow cards5
 
4
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed22
 
15
Fouls suffered15
 
21

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.10CET

Greece sink Croatia to seize Group F initiative

Greece 2-0 Croatia
Giorgos Samaras and Fanis Gekas weighed in with the goals as the home side leapfrogged their opponents at the Group F summit.

Greece wrestled back control of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group F from Croatia as goals from Giorgos Samaras and Fanis Gekas gave them a precious win against Slaven Bilić's team in Athens.

After a low-key first half, Samaras volleyed home with aplomb and Gekas then headed in a corner from Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis to settle a tense encounter. The result lifted the hosts two points clear of Croatia and leaves them in the driving seat heading into their final game against Georgia in Tbilisi on Tuesday, when they will simply need to avoid defeat to ensure Croatia cannot overtake them by beating Latvia.

The two teams went into the match separated by a single point, which ensured a cautious and nervy opening with little fluidity shown by either side amid a flurry of fouls. Greece, who are undefeated in 15 matches since Fernando Santos replaced Otto Rehhagel after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, were strangely subdued, producing no more than a long-range Karagounis shot which sailed high over the crossbar and an Avraam Papadopoulos header in a quiet opening half.

Gekas was leading the attack after a year in the wilderness following a self-imposed exile, and he was presented with a great chance to open the scoring after the break, only to head straight at Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa. That sparked Croatia into life and they began to threaten the Greece defence with a series of raids down the left flank from Ivan Strinić.

Greece responded in kind by winning their first two corners of the match, and the deadlock was finally broken from the second in the 71st minute when Samaras scored with a sweet left-footed volley, Croatia having failed to clear their lines following Karagounis's set piece. The Greece skipper was the architect of his team's second too as Gekas planted a header into the top corner eight minutes later from another corner to clinch the victory.

Last updated: 26/10/12 13.34CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15171/match=2002252/postmatch/report/index.html#greece+leapfrog+croatia

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Croatia

Croatia

1
TzorvasAlexandros Tzorvas (GK)
Yellow Card60
1
PletikosaStipe Pletikosa (GK)
3
ZaradoukasGiannis Zaradoukas
Yellow Card45+5
2
StrinićIvan Strinić
6
TziolisAlexandros Tziolis
Substitution62
3
ŠimunićJosip Šimunić (C)
7
SamarasGiorgios Samaras
Yellow Card65
Goal71
4
LovrenDejan Lovren
Yellow Card90+1
8
A. PapadopoulosAvraam Papadopoulos
Yellow Card81
5
ČorlukaVedran Ćorluka
Substitution75
10
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis (C)
Yellow Card40
Substitution87
8
VukojevićOgnjen Vukojević
14
SalpingidisDimitris Salpingidis
9
JelavićNikica Jelavić
Yellow Card60
Substitution61
15
TorossidisVassilis Torossidis
Substitution43
10
ModrićLuka Modrić
17
GekasFanis Gekas
Goal79
17
MandžukićMario Mandžukić
19
PapastathopoulosSokratis Papastathopoulos
19
KranjčarNiko Kranjčar
21
KatsouranisKostas Katsouranis
22
EduardoEduardo
Yellow Card45+2
Substitution52

Substitutes

12
ChiotisDionisios Chiotis (GK)
23
SubašićDanijel Subašić (GK)
9
CharisteasAngelos Charisteas
6
VidaDomagoj Vida
Substitution75
11
VyntraLoukas Vyntra
Substitution43
7
RakitićIvan Rakitić
16
MakosGrigoris Makos
Substitution87
13
SchildenfeldGordon Schildenfeld
18
FotakisGiorgos Fotakis
Substitution62
14
N. KalinićNikola Kalinić
Substitution61
Yellow Card77
20
KonePanagiotis Kone
16
DujmovićTomislav Dujmović
23
AthanasiadisStefanos Athanasiadis
20
PerišićIvan Perišić
Substitution52

Coach

Fernando Santos (POR) Slaven Bilić (CRO)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Jake Collin (ENG), Peter Kirkup (ENG)

Fourth official

Mike Dean (ENG)

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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