Saturday May 23, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece seeks to chart new territory past World Cup group stage

By Karolos Grohmann

A second consecutive World Cup finals represents a huge success for Greece who want to go a step further than they did in South Africa in 2010 and advance past the group stage.

Greece recorded their first victory and scored their first goals at the World Cup four years ago after an embarrassing maiden World Cup appearance in 1994, when they lost all three group games and conceded 10 goals without reply.

For Greece coach Fernando Santos, who will leave his post after the World Cup, the target is clear.

"The first aim of Greece is to advance and then we will see, said the Portuguese, who also led the Euro 2004 champions to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

"We are not going there on holiday. This is our third World Cup appearance and we want to make it to the next stage for the first time."

They are in Group C with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Asian champions Japan. Both the South American and the African teams are physically stronger than the Greeks while Japan is viewed as another uncomfortable opponent.

There is, however, no clear group favorite and Greece's trademark rock-solid defense, which let in just four goals in 10 qualifiers, will again serve as their strongest asset.

Three of those goals were conceded in a 3-1 loss to Bosnia, meaning Greece let in just one goal in the other nine games.

Forward Dimitris Salpingidis, who scored four goals in the qualifiers, including one in the playoff against Romania, said:

"This time our aim is to reach the last 16. We're in a finely balanced group with no major favorites. It won't be easy, but we can do it.

"We have the quality to score at any point. To win, you have to score goals."

But with just 12 goals in their 10 qualifiers, one more than Slovakia who were third 12 points behind, the Greeks need to up their scoring rate.

The team did show in their qualification playoff against Romania that they can score more than one goal when it matters, easing into the tournament with a 4-2 aggregate win with striker Kostas Mitroglou on target three times in the two games.

A lot will depend on the Fulham striker, currently nursing a knee injury, and his form at the tournament.

His goals are likely to spell the difference between a spot in the next stage or a short stay in Brazil. But he, like the rest of the team, will need to improve because he has had a miserable build-up to the tournament.

Hampered by injury he has made just two league appearances for Fulham and is yet to score (as of April 24).

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 28, 2014 (12:27)  
Greece escapes soccer suspension, FIFA happy with changes
Four-goal Panathinaikos thrashes Asteras away
Greek Cup TV rights up in the air
Home wins see PAO, PAOK and Aris through
Deal no closer following PMs meetings in Riga
Athens believes that Greece could still clinch an agreement with its lenders but probably at the start of June, rather than by the end of this month as it had previously hoped, following the...
Greece to back NATO-led campaign against ISIS, Kammenos says
Greece will join the United States and other NATO members in efforts to defeat militants of Islamic State (ISIS), an issue which is expected to be discussed in the summit of the transatlanti...
Inside News
Car sales drop a gear on VAT rate uncertainty
Different scenarios of changes to value-added tax rates have paralyzed the car market in the last couple of weeks. Expectations for a rate cut from 23 to 18 percent, and the governments int...
Bulk of loan requests comes from food service
The Greek growth model for small and medium-sized enterprises during the period of the crisis will have to change, senior banking officials stress. The majority of demands for corporate fina...
Inside Business
EDITORIAL
Consensus is key
The education bill that has been put forward by Greeces leftist-led government has to be the subject of extensive public consultation. Even more importantly, it needs to be approved in Parl...
COMMENTARY
The other inequality: how the state spends our money
Growing inequality between rich and poor across the world has rightly become the focus of much investigation and analysis. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development underline...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Deal no closer following PMs meetings in Riga
2. Greece to back NATO-led campaign against ISIS, Kammenos says
3. SYRIZA, ND waver over agreement
4. Nearly 800 irregular migrants detained as EU mulls refugee relocation plan
5. Car sales drop a gear on VAT rate uncertainty
6. Bulk of loan requests comes from food service
more news
Today
This Week
1. Merkel stamps out brief optimism on Greece after Tsipras talks
2. Lessons from Israels tech miracle
3. Tsipras to meet Juncker on second day of Riga summit
4. Civil aviation staff to hold walkout on holiday weekend
5. Banks will be asked to revise their restructuring plans
6. EOPYY struggles for funding, sees overdue debt rise
Today
This Week
1. The Greek-German breakthrough that didnt come
2. Conspiracy madness
3. Greece came close to not paying IMF
4. National self-awareness put to the test
5. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
6. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.