Greece kept pace with Bosnia and Herzegovina at the top of their FIFA World Cup qualifying pool with a slender success against a stubborn Slovakia – a fifth 1-0 win in nine Group G matches for Fernando Santos's squad.
The Greeks were guaranteed a top-two finish regardless of the outcome and, in the event, a tight and tense encounter was settled by a first-half own goal from Slovakia captain Martin Škrtel. Santos's men go into their final qualifier, at home to Liechtenstein on Tuesday, level with the Bosnians on 22 points, although their rivals hold a considerable advantage on goal difference so Greece must better the result the leaders manage in Lithuania.
The home side came close to scoring themselves only once in the first period at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, visiting goalkeeper Ján Mucha saving Kostas Manolas's header. Greece needed a break and got one a minute before half-time when Mucha allowed Škrtel's back pass to slip under his foot as he attempted to clear downfield.
That proved to be the only goal of the game although Greece pressed for a second after the interval, Tomáš Hubočan booting Kostas Mitroglou's close-range effort off the line and José Holebas sending another attempt just wide. Slovakia's best chance of a draw materialising late on, substitute Martin Jakubko heading past the post. Greece could breath again.