Greece put five past Sweden to keep pace with UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 7 pacesetters Turkey and Poland.
Goals from Dimitris Diamantakos and Charis Mavrias put the hosts firmly in control inside 19 minutes, although Mikael Ishak pulled one back for Sweden. However, Greece never looked back after visiting goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren saw red for a foul on Mavrias and Giannis Potouridis scored the resulting penalty. Dimitris Kolovos added a fourth two minutes after half-time before Nikos Karelis completed the scoring late on.
Buoyed by a 4-0 defeat of Malta last time out, Greece flew out of the blocks and were ahead in the fourth minute when Diamantakos was first to react after Carlgren spilled a Mavrias shot. Their lead was doubled in the 19th minute when Diamantakos's header was parried into the path of Mavrias whose low drive found a corner.
Ishak gave Sweden a lifeline from a swift counterattack but their hopes were dashed before the break when Carlgren saw red and Potouridis converted the subsequent spot kick. The result was put beyond doubt at the start of the second period when Kolovos hit his third of the campaign to make it 4-1, leaving Karelis to volley in a fifth two minutes from time.
"We are very happy with the result," said Greece coach Kostas Tsanas. "We started strongly, scoring an early goal and when they were down a player we dominated. We knew Sweden's strong points but we must look ahead to the away match against Poland, who are a very strong team. We were focussed and we managed to stop their firepower up front. All the teams in our group are quite strong so we must forget the result now and be ready for Poland. At this level we cannot afford any mistakes."
Sweden coach Ericson Hakan added: "I'm a disappointed coach. I'd like to congratulate the Greece team. They were far better than when they played against Turkey. We made mistakes today, we must admit it. The early goal we conceded had a negative impact on us. The penalty and the red card spoiled things for us but I'm proud of our second half. Greece derserved to win, they were very fast, made use of long crosses and didn't lose possession easily. Poland are the best team we've played against so far.
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