Thursday September 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greeks play down training ground bust-up ahead of Japan clash

Greece's national soccer team players attend a training session at the Dunas Arena soccer stadium in Natal June 18.

By Nick Mulvenney

Greece played down a training ground bust-up between two players on Wednesday, saying they were "200 percent" focused on getting their World Cup campaign back on track with victory over Japan.

Defenders Yannis Maniatis and Giorgos Tzavellas had to be separated by captain Giorgos Karagounis on Tuesday after clashing as the Greeks prepared for their Group C match.

It was a distraction they could ill-afford with their hopes of advancing in the tournament hanging by a thread after their usually miserly defense was breached three times in a 3-0 opening defeat by Colombia in Belo Horizonte.

The Greek FA issued a statement saying a "heated moment" - which Greek media said had its source in the bad blood between their clubs PAOK and Olympiakos - had been "blown completely out of proportion".

"As far as I'm concerned there is no issue or problem," defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos told a news conference at the Dunas arena on Wednesday.

"Whatever has happened it won't affect tomorrow's game. What happened was minor. It was trivia. Such instances are sometimes good for the press but that's all."

Coach Fernando Santos refused to discuss the incident or the likely make-up of his team and instead wanted to talk about the squad's mission to make the last 16 at a World Cup for the first time.

"The issue is we want to make history tomorrow," the Portuguese told reporters. "As a team we must focus on our game and our opponent.

"We want to begin the match wanting to win. We will have two teams with the same goal. Who will or will not start are minor details compared to what happens on the pitch."

The former European champions have won one of seven matches in three World Cup campaigns, scoring two goals in the process.

Right back Vassilis Torosidis, who scored the winner in his country's only victory against Nigeria four years ago, said they would take goals any way they came.

"The fact is tomorrow we have to win with an own goal or a goal," he said. "The important thing is we win. Then we will have our fortunes in our own hands.

"We are not stressed. Football in the World Cup is a celebration and a party and that is how we will play."

Greece looked bright going forward at times against Colombia but the big surprise was the fragility of a defense that had conceded only four goals in 10 qualifying matches for Brazil.

"I don't know if we need to make any changes," said Santos. "I'm not convinced of that right now. They might happen. They might not happen.

"Against Colombia there was a lack of concentration, that was the problem.

"If we keep our level of focus, of concentration, of what the Greeks are used to seeing, there won't be any problems."

Papastathopoulos said the team would reserve their aggression for their struggle to beat the Asian champions, who also lost their opening match against Ivory Coast.

"We will fight on the pitch for Greece, that is why we are here," he said.

"Every player will play at 200 percent so we can leave the pitch with three points." [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 19, 2014 (10:57)  
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Mitroglou rediscovers scoring touch after Fulham let-down
Mitroglou seals Olympiakos´s 3-2 triumph over Atletico
Olympiakos, Atletico gear up for Champions League opener
Police, protesters clash during rally to mark Fyssas killing
Greek police fired teargas at protesters who hurled petrol bombs and stones in Athens on Thursday during a rally marking one year since the killing of an anti-fascism rapper by a far-right G...
Prescription limit to rein in EOPYY spending
In a bid to rein in its expenses, the country’s largest healthcare provider, EOPYY, is to announce a limit in the coming days on the number and type of diagnostic tests that doctors affiliat...
Inside News
Local lenders draw 5 bln for loans to SMEs
Greek banks drew liquidity of some 5 billion euros from the European Central Bank’s TLTRO program aimed at channeling funding to small and medium-sized enterprises in the first auction compl...
Tourism drives jobless rate down
The growth of tourism this year has had a clear impact on unemployment in Greece as the jobless rate announced on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) for the second quart...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their country’s independence or whether they will remain citizens of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” What was alread...
COMMENTARY
Greek society’s and lenders’ fatigue
The issue of early elections continues to dog the coalition government despite all the official denials. That the administration is losing its cool is obvious. The political discourse has no...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Local lenders draw 5 bln for loans to SMEs
2. Tourism drives jobless rate down
3. Hardouvelis asks for some room to breathe
4. Athens could miss out on last bailout installment
5. Police, protesters clash during rally to mark Fyssas killing
6. Prescription limit to rein in EOPYY spending
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA ahead of ND, new opinion poll shows
2. Extradited Greek couple to face magistrate in Athens
3. National Bank of Greece said to pick advisers for Turkish sale
4. Unemployment at 26.6 percent in second quarter of 2014
5. Man's charred remains retrieved from vehicle following accident
6. Bank of Cyprus sells UK loan portfolio
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Avramopoulos appointed Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
5. Lost in the fog
6. EU bank tests may miss trillion dollar risk, study finds
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.