SPORTS

Samaras out, Lyberopoulos in

Striker Giorgos Samaras was dropped from Greece’s squad for a European Championship qualifier at Moldova. The 21-year-old Manchester City forward made little impact in an August 16 friendly, when England trounced Greece 4-0, and will yield his place to AEK Athens striker Nikos Lyberopoulos. Greece failed to reach the World Cup in Germany and faces tough opponents in Norway and Turkey in the 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign. The other Group C teams are Hungary, Bosnia and Malta. Bolton midfielder Stelios Giannakopoulos said it was vital to make a good start and avoid a repeat of the lax early performances in World Cup qualifying. «This will be a very important match for us,» Giannakopoulos said yesterday. «There’ll have to be a 100 percent effort from all of us so that we can win this game and start properly.» (AP)