The Greek national team defeated Liechtenstein 2-0 at Vaduz at the start of its campaign for the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Saturday, having produced one hour of decent soccer.
Greece created 30 final efforts, with 10 of them within the goal frame, but only got to score twice. Even so, a win is a win and was a positive start for a team that had not scored twice in a game in almost a year and a half.
Coach Angelos Anastasiadis started sweating on the 20th minute when captain Costas Mitroglou felt a pinch in his left leg and had to be substituted by Tasos Donis. Greece’s top scorer is now doubtful for the crucial game in Bosnia on Tuesday.
It was only after the first half hour the Greek players started asking questions at the Liechtenstein defense, with a couple of shots and some decent openings that had the hosts confused.
Then in the single minute of injury time Dimitris Kourbelis attempted a long ball from Greece’s own half to spot Fortounis at the edge of the area, and he tried a low bouncing shot that beat the keeper for 1-0.
Greece had to wait to the 80th minute to double its lead, when Giorgos Massouras picked Donis and he thundered a shot through the keeper’s hands.
This confidence-building victory will matter little unless Greece gets a result in Bosnia on Tuesday. Even a draw should be good enough.
Greece is in the same group with Italy, Bosnia, Finland, Armenia and Liechtenstein. The top two teams of the group advance to the finals.