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Greece pip Ireland to win Group 4

Three sides were in the running to top elite round Group 4 going into the final day, but a draw proved enough for Greece to edge the Republic of Ireland into second place.

Greece's Spyridon Natsos hunts down Ireland's Trevor Clarke in the teams' 2-2 draw
Greece's Spyridon Natsos hunts down Ireland's Trevor Clarke in the teams' 2-2 draw ©Przemyslaw Szyszka

A final-day draw was sufficient for Greece to snatch top spot in elite round Group 4 from the Republic of Ireland, who surrendered first place following defeat by Poland.

The Irish were well-set to win the section after opening with a draw against Greece and impressively seeing off Belarus, but previously point-less hosts Poland surprised them with a 1-0 triumph on matchday three. That meant a 0-0 draw with Belarus was enough for undefeated Greece to qualify for the expanded 16-team finals in Bulgaria.


Winners: With three sides in with a chance of clinching the pool going into the final day, it was Greece who came out on top. After starting with a 2-2 draw against the Irish, Vassilis Georgopoulos's charges overcame Poland 1-0. Ireland's slip up gave Greece the opening and a point against Belarus assured them of first place. 

Other performances: Ireland ultimately secured the runners-up position by virtue of a 3-1 matchday two success against Belarus, who matched their four-point tally. 

Key moment: Greece's winner against Poland, scored by 15-year-old Ioannis Tsingos, proved decisive in the group.

Star performer: Connor Ronan failed to find the net in any of his three appearances but impressed in all of them at the heart of Ireland's attacking play.