SPORTS

Winning debut for Skibbe on Greece bench

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Michael Skibbe made his home debut on the Greece bench on Thursday with a friendly win (2-1) over Montenegro in Piraeus.

The national soccer team appeared quite refreshed compared with the sorry state it had shown in the friendly loss to Luxembourg in November, but still has plenty of work to do to harbor any hopes of qualifying to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Playing in front of just a few thousand fans at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Greece’s players dominated the game against another team that has failed to qualify for the Euro 2016 finals in France.

The German coach originally opted for a 3-6-1 formation, with Benfica’s Costas Mitroglou as the lone striker up front, although once again he failed to score for Greece.

After a goalless first half, Skibbe switched to a 3-5-2 system, introducing Genk’s Nikos Karelis as a second striker, and that paid off!

All goals came within nine minutes: Giorgos Tzavellas opened the score on the 54th with a direct free-kick, but Zarko Tomasevic responded two minutes later, before Karelis scored the winner after a Costas Fortounis through ball.

On Tuesday Greece plays another friendly in Piraeus, against Iceland.

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