Euro 2012’s Greece Upsets Russia, Secures Semi-Final Spot
Warsaw witnessed what may be the makings of a 2004 Euro competition repeat, with Greece surprising everyone as they defeated Russia 1-0. Russia was favored in Group A, but has since been knocked out of competition by the underdogs, Greece who will proceed to the final eight.
A late first half goal came from Giorgos Karagounis at 47 minutes, narrowly sneaking across the goal and through Russian keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev’s grasp. The goal came only seconds before running out of stoppage time from the 35-year old Grecian midfielder.
Greece had upset an undefeated streak of 16-games to which the Russian team had been clinging. Attributing solid defense against a flurry of early Russian attempts on goal, Coach Dick Advocaat slung praises toward Greece and commended their performance.
Many fans and interested parties now wonder if Greece is poised for a repeat of the Euro 2004 competition in which Greece was initially viewed as an underdog early in the competition, going on to win in the finals over Portugal in a 2-1 victory.
Greece’s captain, Karagounis, created an uproar protesting a foul, but was instead booked by referee Jonas Eriksson for diving, eventually being subbed out. He will need to sit the next match out as a result. The team will have their work cut out for them as they go on to face the runners-up for group B on June 21st in Warsaw.