England versus Greece, Part 2

Four days after England conjured up a last-gasp equalizer against Greece to qualify for the World Cup, Olympiakos hosts Manchester United in the Champions League today. Greece had dominated Saturday’s World Cup match in Manchester and was leading 2-1 when David Beckham tied the score from a free kick in injury time. A draw was enough for England to win the group, at the expense of Germany, and qualify for next year’s World Cup finals. Today, Beckham will lead United against another Greek opponent at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Olympiakos’s coach Takis Lemonis wants his players to use the Greek performance as inspiration against the English champions. We have to play with the same passion as the national team did, with the same strength but with more thought if we want to beat Manchester, Lemonis said. At the same time, he warned that after Saturday’s performance by the Greek team, the English will be much more careful and passionate to win in Athens. Today’s eight Champions League games were originally scheduled on Sept. 12, but were postponed after the terrorist attacks on the United States the previous day. Olympiakos’s goalkeeping situation is in disarray. Regular keeper Dimitris Elef- theropoulos, who withdrew from the Greek squad for the England game citing family reasons, has a knee problem and has conceded 10 goals in his last three European and international matches. His replacement, Angelos Georgiou, is doubtful after sustaining a leg injury in his last league match against Panionios. United is coming off a stunning Champions League defeat last month to Deportivo la Coruna, giving up two goals in the last four minutes to lose 2-1. Olympiakos lost 3-1 to Lille on the same night.

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