Ninety minutes is a long time indeed in soccer. What seems unlikely early on, may well become likely later. This way Greece came back from a likely debacle at Zenica to snatch a precious point and get to within a whisker from victory, forcing a 2-2 draw from host Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday. This was the fourth point for Greece in the Euro 2020 qualifiers after two games, and a maturing experience for the young Greeks.
The national team got what it wanted from the game, i.e. not to lose, and scoring two goals away could also prove significant should the two teams finish level on points.
The first 20-25 minutes of the game seemed like a nightmare for Greece, with two goals conceded and a general confusion in the defense and the midfield.
First it was Edin Visca on the 10th minute who attempted a shot from the edge of the area, that was poorly cleared by the Greek defense and Visca went on to power a shot into the Greek net from near the penalty spot.
Then, just over five minutes later Miralem Pjanic doubled Bosnia’s lead with a clever direct free-kick that Greece keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos should have done more about than just watch the ball.
Greece gained some ground toward the end of the first half and missed two good chances with Costas Fortounis and Tassos Donis.
Bosnia remained on top of the game up to the hour mark, but then the match was turned on its head: Fortounis earned a penalty on the 63rd that the Olympiakos player successfully converted, and a minute later Pjanic saw a straight red for a clumsy foul on Zeca.
Greece piled on the pressure on the Bosnian defense as if it were playing at home, but had to wait for over 20 minutes for the pressure to bear fruit.
Six minutes from time Zeca tried a cross into the box of Bosnia where Dimitris Kolovos rose practically unchallenged to head the ball from the edge of the six-yard box and equalize for Greece.
In the few minutes left Greece pushed on in search of a winner, it did not get it, but the comeback will make the team and its fans proud.