Greece out to shock the world again

by admin

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Greece caused an almighty upset in 2004 when they went all the way and won the European Championships and they are again playing the role of over-achievers, having defied derision to make it into the knockout stages at Euro 2012.

Fernando Santos’ side was written off before a ball was kicked and they did nothing to promote any real optimism with their opening draw against Poland and subsequent loss to the Czech Republic.

Yet the Greeks caused a real stir by securing a 1-0 win over Group A favourites Russia to book their place along with the Czechs in the knockout stages and send Dick Advocaat’s side back home at the first possible opportunity.

Things don’t get any easier for Greece as they must face Germany in the quarter-finals but they showed in 2004 they have the game to trouble the big-guns and optimism will be high among the camp they can make it through to the semi-finals.

Head coach Santos admits Greece are going to face a “tough” game but in knockout competitions anything can happen and if they can frustrate their opponents there remains the chance of nicking a goal or getting through on a penalties.

“It’s another ball game now. These are knockout matches over 90 minutes, extra time perhaps and even penalty shoot-outs. Anything can happen,” he said.

“We will prepare as best we can. We know our strengths and limitations. We are not the best in the world, but we will look to stretch ourselves.”

Greece under Santos remain the same kind of compact and stubborn side that Otto Rehhagel led to glory in 2004 and they have gone 17 matches unbeaten under his reign.

They are not going to be the push-overs that most people are predicting, but they will have to spring a surprise to get past a German side that many are classing as second-favourites behind the defending champions Spain.

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  • Mythjen

    Good for the Greeks. What their potential opponents should beware of is the gift that they bring is the Trojan horse of unpredictability. While they face rough sailing ahead (sounds like a metaphor for their battered economy), but this Greek squad is like the Dirty Dozen reincarnate, which doesn’t mind getting sent off packing as long as they give their opponents something to think about.

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