Greece survives scare for vital win

Greece is within touching distance of Euro 2008 after beating 10-man Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-2 in Athens on Saturday night. Otto Rehhagel’s squad survived a scare in the second half when the visitors pegged them back to 1-1 after Angelos Charisteas opened the score in the 11th minute. But Bosnia’s goal hero Mirko Hrgovic turned villain within two minutes of his equalizer when he was sent off. Greece was able to exploit the extra man and cruised to the win thanks to goals from Fanis Gekas and substitute Nikos Liberopoulos. Vedad Ibisevic, also a substitute, pulled one back for Bosnia in the second minute of injury time. In a disappointing first half, Greece went ahead after Charisteas took four attempts to finish off the best move of the match. Greece was shocked into action when Bosnian midfielder Hrgovic rifled a foul into Antonis Nikopolidis’s top corner in the 55th minute. Hrgovic’s involvement ended just a minute later when he was sent off for a crunching foul on Greek captain Angelos Basinas. Three minutes after that, Basinas found Gekas in the penalty area on his own and the striker slotted home. The European champions wrapped up the game when Liberopoulos scored in the 73rd minute. Ibisevic’s goal came seconds before the final whistle.