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Greece profit as Charisteas stops Spain surge in EURO 2004 Group A

Greece 1-1 Spain
Angelos Charisteas equalised midway through the second half to earn Greece a valuable point in Porto.

Angelos Charisteas (left) celebrates after scoring the equaliser
Angelos Charisteas (left) celebrates after scoring the equaliser ©Getty Images

Group A rivals Spain and Greece remain on course for the quarter-finals after they followed up their opening UEFA EURO 2004 victories by drawing an intense encounter.

Spain were made to toil hard in the afternoon heat by a determined Greece team, but still took the lead with a clinically-taken Fernando Morientes strike just before the half-hour. Iñaki Sáez's side went on to play some scintillating football but failed to kill Greece off and paid the price when Angelos Charisteas levelled matters midway through the second half.

EURO 2004: All you need to know

Sáez named an unchanged team, with Juan Carlos Valerón starting on the bench again despite his goalscoring cameo against Russia in Saturday's 1-0 win. Rubén Baraja and David Albelda continued their alliance in midfield, while Raúl González and Morientes played up front, supported by wingers Joseba Etxeberria and Vicente.

Greece made one alteration to the XI that upset Portugal 2-1, with Kostas Katsouranis replacing Angelos Basinas in midfield. There was no room for fit-again Demis Nikolaidis, as Zisis Vryzas and Charisteas kept their places in attack. Spain started brightly but with Katsouranis following Raúl's every move and Theodoros Zagorakis doubling up with right-back Georgios Seitaridis to stifle the threat of Vicente, space was at a premium.

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Raúl escaped the attentions of Katsouranis for long enough to pick out Raúl Bravo's run into the penalty area on 14 minutes, but the full-back was denied by a splendid tackle from back-tracking forward Charisteas, epitomising the Greek work ethic.

The one-way traffic continued as Greece defended in numbers, and Iván Helguera had already squandered a chance from Vicente's free-kick when Spain took the lead on 28 minutes. Mihalis Kapsis lost possession to Raúl on the edge of the penalty area and the Spain captain cut the ball back for Morientes, who jinked inside Katsouranis before striking a low shot past Antonios Nikopolidis.

Fernando Morientes (left) after putting Spain ahead
Fernando Morientes (left) after putting Spain aheadBongarts/Getty Images

The goal injected more urgency into Greece's play and Otto Rehhagel's team finished the first half on top. Stelios Giannakopoulos, in particular, was breaking forward well, but Vryzas's wayward volley from the right of the penalty area was the closest they came before the interval.

First-half bookings for Spain defender Carlos Marchena and Greece's Giorgos Karagounis ruled them out of Sunday's concluding Group A games but the action showed no sign of slowing after the break. First Raúl headed Carles Puyol's pass over the goalkeeper but wide of the post, then Zagorakis hit a raking, long-range shot fractionally wide at the other end.

Greece sent on Nikolaidis and Vasilis Tsiartas to try to unsettle their opponents, and Zagorakis soon stung the palms of Iker Casillas with another powerful drive. The game began to open up, with gaps appearing on the flanks, and Raúl headed over when substitute Joaquín picked him out unmarked at the far post on 54 minutes.

Traianos Dellas looped a header on to the roof of the net from Tsiartas' corner, but two minutes later Greece were level. Tsiartas showed fantastic vision to pick out Charisteas with a crossfield pass and the SV Werder Bremen forward controlled it instantly before squeezing a shot under Casillas.

Spain strived to find a winner in the closing stages, but Joaquín's curling cross-shot wide of the far post was their most dangerous moment as Greece held out for a precious point.

EURO 2004: Team of the Tournament


Greece line up ahead of the Spain game
Greece line up ahead of the Spain gameBongarts/Getty Images

Greece: Nikopolidis; Fyssas (Venetidis 86), Kapsis, Dellas, Seitaridis; Giannakopoulos (Nikolaidis 49), Katsouranis, Zagorakis (c), Karagounis (Tsiartas 53); Vryzas, Charisteas
Substitutes: Chalkias, Katergiannakis, Dabizas, Basinas, Kafes, Georgiadis, Goumas, Papadopoulos, Lakis
Coach: Otto Rehhagel

Spain: Casillas; Bravo, Marchena, Helguera, Puyol; Vicente, Baraja, Raúl (c) (Torres 80), Albelda, Etxeberria (Joaquín 46); Morientes (Valerón 65)
Substitutes: Cañizares, Aranzubia, Capdevila, Luque, Gabri, Xabi Alonso, César Martín, Xavi, Juanito
Coach: Iñaki Sáez

Referee: Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovakia)

Man of the Match: Raúl González (Spain)