SPORTS

Greece learns that soccer giveth, soccer taketh away

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

After feeling lucky to escape from Tallinn with a 1-0 win three days earlier, Greece will feel unlucky to suffer a 2-1 reverse to Hungary on Tuesday, again for the Nations League.

Greece was by far the better team at the Groupama Arena in Budapest, but its lack of firepower was evident and its sole goal came from a central defender.

The game took place behind closed doors too, as Hungary had a stadium ban to serve from its previous UEFA competition, the 2016 European Championship qualifiers.

Hungary led from the 15th minute with a Roland Szalai goal after a beautiful team effort, but Costas Manolas responded three minutes later for Greece. It was a free kick from the left that Costas Fortounis took and found Manolas who grabbed a header from an offside position to make it 1-1.

Greece then piled on the pressure on the hosts and should have got a second goal before half-time. However it was the Hungarians who went ahead by half-time as a spectacular shot by Laszlo Kleinheisler, a right-foot screamer from outside the box, tossed the Greek net of hopeless Vassilis Barkas.

In the second half Greece enjoyed more possession again, but was less threatening in attack despite the introduction of Costas Mitroglou at half-time.

As the game went on it pressed ahead in search of an equalizer, Dimitris Pelkas and Mitroglou were denied by Hungarian keeper Peter Gulacsi.

The next game for Greece in the tournament will be at home against Hungary on October 12.

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