Greece beats Armenia 2-0, revives Euro 2004 hopes

Greece earned a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Armenia in the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium last night, thanks to two goals from the lively Demis Nikolaidis, reviving its Group 6 Euro 2004 qualification hopes. Greece dominated the first half from the outset. It attacked with purpose and precision, and reaped an early reward. After two minutes, Vassilis Tsartas drifted in a pinpoint free kick from the right-hand side and an unmarked Nikolaidis placed his header past stranded goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky. Nikolaidis should have doubled his tally after a Tsartas backheel found him in space with the goal at his mercy. His shot was saved and he connected with nothing but air as he swung at the rebound. The game was not as tight after the break, as Greece looked content to sit on their lead. However, this confidence threatened to turn into complacency, with Armenia capable of snatching an equalizer. In the 59th, though, Greece scored a crucial second goal. Harutyun Vardanyan failed to clear; Angelos Bassinas made an interception and slid the ball through to an unmarked Nikolaidis. He made no mistake, chipping the ball into the goal.