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Kotsaris: Anything can happen for Greece

Konstantinos Kotsaris says Greece have "no stress" ahead of their semi-final with Russia, adding: "It's a knockout game; we may not be the favourites but who knows?"

Greece's Konstantinos Kotsaris celebrates after the France match
Greece's Konstantinos Kotsaris celebrates after the France match ©EPO

After two matches of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Konstantinos Kotsaris was the only goalkeeper not to have conceded following clean sheets in the win over Ukraine and draw with Austria. The 18-year-old Panathinaikos FC custodian was beaten twice by France on matchday three but also made several impressive stops, not least a remarkable double save from Neal Maupay and Sehrou Guirassy, in a 2-0 defeat that nevertheless took the hosts through to a semi-final against Russia.

Kotsaris on ... the two minutes on Sunday when Greece had to wait before finding out they were through
It was incredibly stressful! We were so anxious to find out what was happening in the other match. Austria and Ukraine were level at 2-2 and we were going crazy. We were thinking it would be a shame for all our efforts to go to waste, were the Austrians to score a late winner.

Kotsaris on ... reaching the last four
Deep down we knew we should have secured qualification sooner. We had it in our hands. Things didn't go as planned against France, who were the best side in our section, especially in individual technique. We conceded early, but luckily we managed to hold onto the advantage we had gained from our previous matches and that took us to the semis.

Highlights: France 2-0 Greece

Kotsaris on ... the semi-finals
Our main objective was to get to the last four. We have achieved that and now there's no stress. This is one game, a knockout game, and anything can happen. We may not be the favourites but who knows? We could win and reach the final.

Kotsaris on ... Russia
We could have had any of the four Group B teams as semi-final opponents. Russia suit our game best; against them we stand a better chance than against the other three. However, the fact Russia topped a tough group speaks volumes for their potential. Our task is far from easy.

Kotsaris on ... Ramil Sheydaev, Russia's centre-forward who has 11 U19 goals this season
His job is to score goals; my job is to stop him. I'll try to do my best and hopefully I'll succeed.

Greece's Konstantinos Kotsaris in action against France
Greece's Konstantinos Kotsaris in action against France©EPO

Kotsaris on ... his individual performances
My main concern is to help the team be successful. I am happy with myself so far and satisfied to have contributed to us reaching the semi-finals. Every player is happy to see his performances lead to good results.

Kotsaris on ... what the team's success means to Greece
Our progress and qualification is a very positive development for our country. The local people have embraced the tournament, the venues are full and this atmosphere helps us a lot. There is a great interaction. They support us and we give them joy. It's important people have something to smile about in these dire times.