A rather experimental Greece team lost 2-1 to Turkey on Thursday at a friendly game in Antalya, showing manager Angelos Anastasiadis has plenty of work to do to gear the national team up for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Italy and Armenia at home.
Nine days before the first of those two games Greece fielded a rather inexperienced side in Turkey, without Costas Mitroglou, Vassilis Torosidis and Sokratis Papastathopoulos among others, but showed exactly the same problems as in the recent Euro qualifier at Bosnia, when it made a slow start and conceded two goals.
Turkey scored twice in the first 16 minutes of the game through Cengiz Under and Kenan Karaman as the Greek defense made one error after another, inciting the fury of Anastasiadis at the bench.
After the first 20 minutes Greece started improving and hit the upright with an Andreas Samaris shot. It still had to thank goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis for keeping Turkey’s tally to two goals.
In the second half, with a number of substitutions implemented, the pace of the game declined further. Turkey had some more chances, and Dimitris Kourbelis came close as a false 9 on the 78th minute.
Eventually, Kourbelis salvaged some pride for Greece scoring a consolation goal deep into injury time from a Dimitris Kolovos through ball into the Turkish area.