Greece snatches late equalizer with Bosnia

Greece snatches late equalizer with Bosnia

Giorgos Tzavellas scored with virtually the last kick of the game to spare Greece from a home loss to Bosnia for the World Cup qualifiers and earn the hosts a 1-1 draw in Piraeus.

Greece coach Michael Skibbe experimented with a 4-2-3-1 formation and with left-back Costas Stafylidis as a winger, but the Bosnians enjoyed most of the possession and the chances of the first half – including their goal.

Bosnia had warned the Greek defense from the 21st minute, when an Izet Hajrovic swerver breezed past the right post of Orestis Karnezis.

Miralem Pjanic scored from a direct freekick on the 32nd minute as the ball hit the right post and went in off the back of Karnezis, with UEFA recording that as an own goal.

This was followed by a four-minute stoppage as some the 1,500 Bosnian fans wreaked havoc at the stands, with flares and ripped-up seats thrown at the home fans, who responded trying to attack the Bosnians but were stopped by the riot police.

Greece’s best chance in the first half was a Costas Mitroglou close-range shot that keeper Asmir Begovic kept out in injury time.

In the second half Greece upped its game as Bosnia also dropped back to defend its lead. Costas Fortounis saw his shot from outside the box palmed by Begovic to his right post on the 55th.

Then the two teams were left with 10 men each as Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Edin Dzeko received their marching orders after a tussle among a number of players.

Just as it seemed Greece had lost the game, a poor clearance by the Bosnian defense sent the ball to Tzavellas and he unleashed a fearsome left-footer from 25 meters out to equalize for Greece 20 seconds from the end of time added-on.

Greece is now second in the group with 10 points from four games.

Before the game three Bosnian fans were hurt after being attacked outside the ground by people shouting that “Kosovo is Serbian”.

In another incident a group of about 10 Greeks attacked a Bosnian fan at the metro station just outside the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, dealing him a number of blows before other Greeks rushed to protect him.

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.