Greece holds on for draw

Portugal was held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in an international friendly on Saturday, as the home side was unable to capitalize on a one-man advantage. Greece was reduced to 10 players after 30 minutes when midfielder Giorgos Karagounis was given a red card for using his hand to block a goal-bound effort. The game, attended by some 30,000 spectators, launched a new stadium in Aveiro, in the country’s northwest, ahead of next summer’s European Championships, where Greece and Portugal could meet again. Greece, which ended first in Group 6, ahead of favorites Spain, have booked a spot. As the host, Portugal qualified automatically. Also Saturday, Spain and nine other runners-up played first-leg playoffs for Euro 2004 berths. Spain, at home, defeated Norway 2-1, but needs a better aggregate score following Wednesday’s return leg in Oslo. Latvia beat Turkey 1-0, Scotland defeated the Netherlands 1-0, Russia and Wales played a scoreless draw, and Croatia drew 1-1 with Slovenia. The return legs are on Wednesday. Greece’s draw on Saturday ended its six-game winning streak but maintained an undefeated 13-match stretch. In the 47th minute, midfielder Vassilios Lakis headed home a cross from fellow halftime substitute Stylianos Venetidis. Portugal striker Pauleta Resendes equalized 13 minutes later when he rifled home a pass from winger Simao Sabrosa. (Reuters, Kathimerini)