Greece won a match that seemed lost
Mr. Santos and most of the players were very clear in their statements after the match. Greece had a performance below average but the important thing is they managed to escape with the three points. The rain had ruined the field and it was very hard to see the players of both teams making an accurate pass or changing the ball more than twice. Slovakia was quickly took control of the midfield during the first half but their first dangerous attempt came at 38′ with Hamšík who managed to take a nice shot from close range that ended up to the side net. Two minutes later, Breznaník managed another close range shot that was sent away by Karnezis. The ball came back to Hamšík who took a new side shot stopped right on the line from the Greek players.
Greece also made a weak start in the second half. The players of Slovakia seemed determined to score and their pressure was rising. Greece seemed unable to take control of the match or even hold the ball. I will dare to say I felt like the first goal for Slovakia was just a matter of time. All this changed at 63′ when Katsouranis intercepted the ball, made a long pass to Salpiggidis who pushed the ball to the net. Slovakia had to add more pressure for the equalizer that would give them at least one point. The last few minutes were a nightmare for the Greek defenders. Mr. Santos stated that the passion of the players helped them to hold on to their win, not their clarity of mind. The five minutes of added time seemed like an eternity with Slovakia having their last chance at the last few seconds before the final whistle.
Luck is always needed when you want to make it far in a competition but I cannot say that Greece was just lucky for this win. Slovakia was definately better in this match and Greece surely had the help of Lady Luck. However, it is my opiniong that when you want to win matches, especially against stronger or more experienced teams you are just not allowed to miss so many chances.
PS: I feel that the betting preview and prediction for this match was accurate although it was not won. I hate to lose published picks but when they come like this I do not mind at all.