SPORTS

Under-21 squad’s convincing 5-0 win over Kazakhstan offers hope

The national Under-21 soccer squad lies one win from the top of its European Championships qualifying group following a resounding 5-0 home win against last-placed Kazakhstan Tuesday night. The Under-21 team is fourth in Group 2 with seven points from four games. Denmark leads the group with 10 points from as many games. Ukraine and Turkey follow with nine and eight points respectively, after five games. In his post-match remarks, the Greek team’s coach Stelios Aposporis, who led the Under-21 side for the first time after recently replacing Stelios Manolas, praised his players. «At this point, we have fast players, tall forwards for the box and we have power, which I think gives me the right to believe that we can play quick, attacking soccer,» Aposporis said. «They’ve [the players] understood that it’s a step toward a better future in their careers… No matter where we go, we’re sort of representing the European champions and, as they’ve understood this role, they’re showing the right amount of seriousness,» he added, referring to the national team’s sensational triumph at Euro 2004 in Portugal last summer. In its next engagement, Greece meets front runner Denmark in Athens on February 8. The qualifying campaign ends late next year with a final game at home against Georgia on October 11.