One hour’s decent play was not enough for Greece to score or get a result at Luxembourg, going down to the minnows of central Europe with a 1-0 score in the friendly that marked the beginning of Michael Skibbe’s time on the Greek bench on Friday night.
Greece had two men up front in the first half (4-4-2), with both Costas Mitrogou and Nikos Karelis missing several chances to open the score. Mitroglou actually struck the woodwork after just two minutes played and Karelis saw his best effort go just wide.
In the second half Skibbe reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mitroglou alone up front and replaced Dimitris Pelkas with Alexandros Tziolis, making the Greek midfield considerably slower.
After the hour mark the performance of the Greeks began to flag and the hosts, who had also missed a couple of good chances in the first half started asking questions at Greece keeper Stefanos Kapino before eventually scoring right at the end.
Olympiakos defender Dimitris Siovas had a clash with Kapino that forced him to get substituted, and Luxembourg took advantage of his absence from the 78th minute to score with Burton Albion’s Aurelien Joachim on the first minute of time added on.
No doubt Skibbe has got plenty of work to do, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers that start next year. On Tuesday Greece travels to Turkey for another friendly.