SPORTS

Greeks hope to shock Argentina

Confidence has grown in the Greece camp as qualification to the next round of soccer’s World Cup is still a possibility ahead of tomorrow’s crunch game with Argentina in South Africa. «We are going for victory against the Argentines at Polokwane,» said striker Fanis Gekas on Saturday, explaining that any team going for two results, a draw or a win, usually ends up losing. However, he did ask the fans and the media to come back down to earth after the country’s first ever World Cup victory over Nigeria on Thursday (2-1), adding that the players have always had their feet firmly on the ground. «Beating Argentina would be a great success, it would certainly exceed our expectations, but in this World Cup we see that anything can happen,» suggested Gekas. Defensive midfielder Sakis Prittas said yesterday that «what we need to focus on is our defense. We need to hold on for as long as possible at the back, aiming at a clean sheet for our goal.» «If we manage to catch Argentina off guard, then we will certainly shock them. This will certainly be the toughest match I have ever prepared for in my career, but I hope some even tougher ones come in the future,» said the hitherto uncapped Aris player. Central defender Stelios Malezas spoke of a dream that the squad has been living over the last few days and stressed that tomorrow’s game is as hard as ever: «The fact that Argentina has almost qualified makes no difference,» he stated. Captain Giorgos Karagounis and Thursday’s match winner Vassilis Torosidis had a full training session yesterday with the rest of the squad after shaking off the knocks they had picked up, although there has been a problem with central defender Avraam Papadopoulos who has had some pain in his thigh. Still, he is expected to be in the starting lineup tomorrow at 9.30 p.m. Greek time. Argentina may well rest some of its key players, while Jonas Gutierrez is suspended after collecting two bookings in as many games. There is of course no sign of the South Americans abating ahead of tomorrow’s game. Striker Carlos Tevez said: «We have good players, attacking players. We must go out on the attack and show our class. We must get forward and put our opponents under pressure.»