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Greece deny Poland but miss out themselves

Published: Tuesday 9 September 2014, 20.47CET
Greece 3-1 Poland
Two late goals from Giannis Gianniotas gave Greece the 3-1 win they needed, only for them to miss out due to Sweden's late victory.
by Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
from Katerini Stadium
Greece deny Poland but miss out themselves
Greece and Poland both led the group tonight, but are out ©PZPN
Published: Tuesday 9 September 2014, 20.47CET

Greece deny Poland but miss out themselves

Greece 3-1 Poland
Two late goals from Giannis Gianniotas gave Greece the 3-1 win they needed, only for them to miss out due to Sweden's late victory.

Greece were denied a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off place in heartbreaking fashion despite eliminating Poland with an impressive win.

At kick-off, Greece were fourth in Group 7 but knew victory by 3-1 or better would give them top spot if Sweden drew with Turkey. Greece duly won with two late goals, and Turkey came back from 3-1 to 3-3 in Halmstad – only for Sweden to strike an added-time winner.

The opening goal arrived on 12 minutes when Tassos Lagos crossed and Charis Mavrias chased a seemingly lost ball to turn it into the path of the incoming Nikos Karelis, who unleashed a powerful left-footed shot past Jakub Szumski. Soon after Michał Żyro crossed from the left and Kacper Przybyłko, unmarked in front of Stefanos Kapino, put the ball past him with the right foot to level.

Both sides had chances but it was looking good for Poland as, even though Sweden were winning, Marcin Dorna's side – being watched by Zbigniew Boniek in Katerini – were set to top the group on head-to-head record. But on 85 minutes Giannis Gianniotas was introduced by Greece coach Kostas Tsanas and was to turn the game after Przybyłko had missed what seemed a certain goal.

Three minutes from time, Gianniotas was brought down by Poland captain Marcin Kamiński and converted the penalty himself. The Greece bench now knew Turkey had equalised in Sweden and urged their team forward to get the vital third goal and, after Apostolos Vellios had headed wide and Nikos Karelis hit the crossbar, Gianniotas controlled a Kostas Stafylidis cross and beat Szumski from eight metres out. At the final whistle Greece started to celebrate wildly for 30 seconds until their mood changed dramatically when Tsanas informed them of Sweden's winner.

Reaction:
Giannis Gianniotas, Greece forward

It was an amazing game and we deserved to go through. This experience will make us tougher; it was a lesson of how much some goals conceded in earlier matches can matter in this competition. We were in heaven for one minute and then went straight to hell. But that's football and we have to accept it.

Kostas Tsanas, Greece coach
Football is full of emotions. I am very happy with my players' performance today, they gave their all, had passion and determination and achieved what they set out to do: a win by two goals. We were depending however on the result of the Sweden-Turkey game and that didn't go our way.

Moments like these, matches like these, turn boys into men. I am very proud to be their coach. I know that Claudio Ranieri [Greece senior coach], who attended the match today, will take note of these boys.

Last updated: 04/06/15 4.26CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000412/match=2011513/postmatch/report/index.html#greece+poland

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Poland

Poland

12
KapinoStefanos Kapino (GK)
1
SzumskiJakub Szumski (GK)
Yellow Card74
2
MarinakisNikos Marinakis
Yellow Card34
2
JanickiRafał Janicki
3
StafylidisKostas Stafylidis
3
DziwnielDaniel Dziwniel
Substitution81
4
BougaidisMavroudis Bougaidis
5
KamińskiMarcin Kamiński (C)
5
TriantafyllopoulosKostas Triantafyllopoulos
Yellow Card59
6
ChrapekMichał Chrapek
Substitution88
6
BallasPanagiotis Ballas
Substitution85
7
WszołekPaweł Wszołek
Yellow Card48
7
MavriasCharis Mavrias
Yellow Card51
Substitution71
11
ŻyroMichał Żyro
8
LagosTassos Lagos (C)
17
BereszyńskiBartosz Bereszyński
Yellow Card89
9
VelliosApostolos Vellios
18
DawidowiczPawel Dawidowicz
Yellow Card26
10
KarelisNikos Karelis
Goal12
19
PawłowskiBartłomiej Pawłowski
Substitution76
18
BouchalakisAndreas Bouchalakis
Substitution62
20
PrzybyłkoKacper Przybyłko
Goal24

Substitutes

1
DioudisSokratis Dioudis (GK)
12
BednarekFilip Bednarek (GK)
11
GianniotasGiannis Gianniotas
Substitution85
Goal88
Goal90+3
4
KędzioraTomasz Kędziora
14
LykogiannisCharalambos Lykogiannis
8
DąbrowskiDamian Dąbrowski
15
GoutasDimitris Goutas
9
ParzyszekPiotr Parzyszek
16
BouzasVasilis Bouzas
Substitution62
10
WolskiRafał Wolski
Substitution88
17
KouroAlexandros Kouro
13
LewandowskiMateusz Lewandowski
Substitution81
19
BakasetasTasos Bakasetas
Substitution71
14
GollaWojciech Golla
Substitution76

Coach

Kostas Tsanas (GRE) Marcin Dorna (POL)

Referee

Bastian Dankert (GER)

Assistant referees

Markus Häcker (GER), Jan Seidel (GER)

Fourth official

Sascha Stegemann (GER)

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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