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Iceland punishes Greece's defensive frailties

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Greece let a 2-0 lead slip and managed to lose 3-2 in Piraeus on Tuesday to an Iceland that exploited the defensive frailties of the Greek national team to the maximum as it gears up for the Euro 2016 finals.

It is clear that Greece manager Michael Skibbe does not only have to work hard on making his talented players gel into a team – particularly in terms of defense – but also on bolstering the team’s confidence that appears hard to build and easy to demolish.

Greece scored against the run of play after 19 minutes through a Costas Fortounis penalty shot, after the Greek defense escaped unpunished for errors that should have cost it at least a goal.

Then Fortounis saw a great shot of his find its way to the net on the 31st for his second goal on the night, and the improving Greece appeared to be heading for its second friendly victory in four days, after beating Montenegro.

However just three minutes later Arnor Traustason made it 2-1 and in the second half a well-worked Iceland team equalized via Sverrir Ingason on the 70th before Robert Sigthorsson gave the visitors an unlikely win eight minutes from time.

The 5,000 fans at the Karaiskakis Stadium applauded the Greeks in the end, but knew that this team is nothing like the team that just 21 months earlier had come within a whisker of entering the last eight of the World Cup.

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