Wednesday April 1, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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)  
AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
Cyprus soccer eyes reunion after 60-year divorce
Three Greek internationals injured in Budapest car crash
Improved Greece draws 0-0 at Hungary
Finance Ministry officials to discuss talks progress as EU pushes for action
After several days of talks between representatives of Greeces government and its creditors in Brussels on a proposed list of economic reforms, eurozone finance ministry officials are to di...
Trial of suspects in Salamina torture case starts
The trial of four men accused of torturing an Egyptian bakery worker on the island of Salamina in the summer of 2012 is to resume on April 30 after the victim, Walid Talb, and several witnes...
Inside News
Business sentiment in decline
Business sentiment and consumer confidence were in decline in March, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and published on Tu...
Ministry headache over T-bills
The Finance Ministry is trying to find a solution to cover treasury bills to be issued next Wednesday, while the payment of the next tranche to the International Monetary Fund the following ...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
There are 149 plus two reasons why those who have been watching SYRIZAs progress since its start cannot and never will be able to stomach the leftist partys coalition with Independent Gree...
EDITORIAL
A pointless debate
Mondays parliamentary debate between the countrys political leaders left a lot to be desired. There was no information whatsoever about the coalition governments proposed reforms or the p...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
2. Business sentiment in decline
3. Ministry headache over T-bills
4. Lafazanis reaches preliminary energy package deal in Russia
5. Bank recap cash cant be used for other purposes
6. EIB said to have frozen funding
more news
Today
This Week
1. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
2. Parliamentary speaker prompts ND walkout, anger from PASOK, Potami
3. Investment guru Mark Mobius rules out Grexit, advises sell-offs
4. Greece, EU/IMF lenders end round of technical talks without deal
5. A pointless debate
6. Greek government proposes measures worth 3.7 bln
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Some more equal than others
5. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
6. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.