SPORTS

Greece exits Confederations Cup in promising form

FRANKFURT – Mexico and Greece produced the first 0-0 draw of this year’s Confederations Cup on Wednesday night in an exciting game that merely lacked a goal. The point Mexico gained ensured they finished top of Group B and will now play Group A runners-up Argentina in their semifinal on Sunday. Greece finished bottom of the group behind Brazil and Japan, who drew 2-2 to both finish on four points, but with the world champions going through to the last four on goal difference. Brazil will face Group A winners Germany in the other semifinal tomorrow. Mexico and Greece attacked from the start and only some superb saves by the two goalkeepers and profligate shooting from both sides meant the scoreline stayed blank. Mexico, who stretched their unbeaten run since July last year to a record 20 matches, thought they had scored after 81 minutes but substitute Alberto Medina’s close-range volley was ruled out for a dubious offside. The most dramatic moment of the match came in the seventh minute when Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez made an astonishing double save to deny Greece an early goal. First he deflected a powerful header from Zisis Vryzas on to the bar and when Vryzas smashed the rebound goalwards, Sanchez parried the ball to safety after it took a wicked deflection off a defender. In all there were more than 30 goal attempts in an end-to-end match and Francisco Fonseca of Mexico and Angelos Charisteas were among those denied goals by excellent saves from Greek keeper Antonis Nikopolidis and Sanchez respectively. (Reuters)