SOCCER

Greece lucky to escape a home loss to Georgia

greece-lucky-to-escape-a-home-loss-to-georgia

Greece actually snatched a point from visiting Georgia in Thessaloniki, instead of conceding two, as the 1-1 result was particularly flattering for the Greeks given their performance at Toumba on Wednesday night for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The hosts were second-best for most of the game against a theoretically inferior opponent, and should be happy to have remained unbeaten for one more game.

Being short of clarity and plan in their game after the first 20 minutes, the Greek internationals were outplayed for the best part of the encounter, suffering in attack and – as the game went on – in defense too.

Greece grabbed an unlikely lead 15 minutes from time when a Dimitris Limnios cross from the right was tucked by Otar Kakabadze into his own net, in a way that would have made any striker proud. They all count – but so did the Georgian equalizer less than three minutes later.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia tried a great run from the left, overcame substitute Haris Mavrias and put the ball into the net with a solo effort worthy of any one of Europe’s top leagues.

Twice in the second half Greece keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos denied the Georgians in long-range shots, showing his outstanding quality. That was what stood between Georgia and its first ever victory against Greece.

The team of coach John van ’t Schip, has two points from as many games, as it has now wasted the advantage it secured last week from its draw in Spain.