Against all the odds, Greece?s national under-19 team has secured a spot in the final of the European Championship after beating England 2-1 on Thursday despite playing for most of the match with a one-man disadvantage.
Playing in Estonia, the Greek teenagers took the lead seven minutes before halftime thanks to a Mavroudis Bougaidis header from a corner kick.
England received a penalty in the last minute of the first half as Greek keeper Stefanos Kapino was sent off for being wrongly judged to have upended Benik Afobe. However substitute keeper Sokratis Dioudis responded to Robert Hall’s kick with a stunning save.
The Greeks conceded the equalizer 11 minutes into the second half as Afobe’s header managed to slip past Dioudis.
The match stayed at 1-1 until the final whistle and went to extra time, with Greece scoring the winning goal through Charalambos Lykogiannis?s delicate chip over the English keeper 12 minutes from the end of extra time.
Manager Costas Tsanas?s players held on to make the final this Sunday in Tallinn, against either France or Spain.
This is the second time in five years the Greek U19 team has reached the European Championship final; in 2007 it was a runner-up to Spain.