Greece comes back to qualify for Euro 2012

Greece advanced to the finals of soccer’s 2012 European Championship thanks to a dramatic 2-1 victory in Georgia on October 11.

The result meant that Greece topped its group with seven wins and three draws, leaving the favorite, Croatia, in second. In doing so, Greece qualified directly for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, reaching the finals for the third time in succession.

A rather negative performance by the national team for most of the game in Tbilisi saw the Greeks concede a goal after 19 minutes through a direct free kick by David Targamadze that Greek keeper Alexandros Tzorvas and his defense appeared to misjudge.

Greece seemed unable to respond and its chances were few and far between until the last 15 minutes, when Georgia was left with 10 men following the stretchering off of its scorer after his coach, Temuri Ketsbaia, had made all three substitutions.

Greece coach Fernando Santos had introduced Giorgos Fotakis to replace fellow midfielder Alexandros Tziolis. It was the PAOK player who scored the precious equalizer in the 78th minute as his shot from outside the area was deflected off a Georgian defender into the net.

Euro 2004 winner Angelos Charisteas sealed Greece’s victory five minutes from time with a clever shot that beat the Georgian keeper after a Costas Katsouranis pass.

This is the first time Greece has qualified for the finals of a major tournament without conceding a single defeat.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.