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Heartbreak for Super Eagles as Greece fight back

Posted: 17 June 2010 Time: 17:53

Dimitrios Salpingidis and Vasilios Torosidis scored as Greece secured a come-from-behind victory over Nigeria in Bloemfontein on Thursday afternoon.

The Super Eagles had taken an early lead through Kala Uche’s free-kick, but a silly red card for Sani Keita gave the Greeks the opportunity to get back into the game.

With both sides desperately needing to take something from this game, neither side was willing to offer an inch as the match got off to a conservative start.

The Greeks stuck to their traditional defensive tactics, restricting Nigeria’s ventures forward, but at the same time limiting their own offensive opportunities to speculative shots like the one Kostas Katsouranis offered up from half-field.

Feeling the pressure from the Greek defense, Nigeria’s forward approach was continuously halted as the Super Eagles struggled to string more than a handful of passes in midfield.

The Africans’ fortunes changed drastically for the better just past the quarter-hour mark as a free-kick for Uche was misjudged by Greece ‘keeper Alexandros Tzorvas. The Panathinaikos shot-stopper anticipated a touch by Peter Odemwingie, but the Lokomotiv Moscow man let Uche’s ball run through the maze of bodies and it ended up in the back of the net.

Greece were now pressured to attack, but it seemed the Nigerians were looking content to sit back and defend their early lead. The likes of Giorgos Karagounis and Kostas Katsouranis couldn’t find a way past the Nigerian defense, but all that changed when Kaita was shown a red card for an unnecessary kick on Vasilis Torosidis.

The dismissal prompted Greece coach Otto Rehhagel to introduce a third forward in Giorgos Samaras.

While Vincent Enyeama continued to show his marvel by denying Gekas a clear opportunity from just a few yards off the goal-line, it seemed now after 16 years that it was just a matter of time before the Greeks scored their first World Cup goal.

Sure enough the goal came a minute before half-time as Dimitris Salpingidis found the back of the net off an unfortunate deflection off a Nigerian defender.

Enyeams continued to pull off some remarkable saves after the break, but then let a seemingly straight-forward long-range effort slip from his grasp, allowing Torosidis to tap in from close range.

Nigeria had an opportunity to level late on, but Chenedu Obasi missed an open goal after the Greek keeper could only parry Yakubu’s shot following a quick counter.

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 08:59 pm
@mike....where have u being......didnt they tell u that i was looking 4 u??? ok...now that u are here it does not matter....emmmm.....someone told me or should i say i heard some rumors, (i dont know if it is true, that was why i wanted to hear from u) that the person u claim is ur father is not ur real father.....pls dont hate me i just heard the rumors...so i wanted to ask u in person that was why i was asking for u but u never showed...i heard it one naive doctor hence ur name "Akpobome"...i rememeber u told one Mike that it is a native name......any way pls tell me ur own version of the story , let me cross check with mine.....or should i just go ahead with my version......pls let me know
posted: 09:00 pm
posted: 09:02 pm
@mike......i also heard another one......which i dont believe cos i dont think u are capable of such...but having looked closely it explains something sha!!!! anyway before we come to that , let talk about ur "real father issue" and the italian prositution thing i heard....ok......
posted: 09:07 pm
They've failed 150millions Nigerians... I've vowed not to watch thier third match, coz, they're gonna lose to Korea.
posted: 09:37 pm
I just hope the remaining african teams won't disappoint us in their match day 2s..as SA and Nigeria have done...my problem is this Nigerians put tribalism into everything if not so wat is kaita doing at the world cup.For ur info he is the only hausa man in that team...i'l wait till we get it right some days.
posted: 09:53 pm
I don't know why Naija like to compare with Bafana. We don't have the quality to compete at World Cup level. You should be comparing yourself with Cote'd Voire. Pienaar is always complaining abt being tired like he was the only one who played in the English Premiership. The truth is South African players are not yet at international standard.

It's the first time in a world cup that i neva recognise naija's players. Uche, Obasi, Kaita, Echiejele, Lukman, Shittu where are these guys playing their football??? Naija players use to come from top European teams and known all over the world Oliseh, Okocha, Siasia, Amunike, Babangida, Lawal but this lot I don't even recognise one of them.Only Martins, Yobo, Taiwo, Yakubu I recognise.

What happened to Naija football??? Age cheating at youth level!!! The guys who perfomed at youth level are now on pension instead of playing for the Eagles. Taiwo is the only guy I rememba from the youth level. It's sad really!!!
posted: 10:26 pm
That Ghana man who claim to be god, watch your mouth, and please go to kickoff Ghana to comment, and if you are not a Ghanaian and just here to cause argument, well suit yourself, jealousy is a silent killer disease, which silently eat up your liver, in fact I do not pray for that, but if truly your name is what you claim to be, you will not talk badly of the people of GOD, because God is truly Nigerian, he loves that country and the very reason despite all the ills, we are going stronger by the day.
One big reason for our failure today in football is tribalism, and until we make use of the very best we have by putting aside tribalism, our football will not go forward, a word in time is Sani Kaita. It is not a most to make it a point for an Hausa man to be in the team when actually he is not qualified to be, also coach Lagerback has is wrong, he started a must win match with a lone striker, how does he expect that to happen, how on earth will you need a win and decide to use one striker, off course it will not work, so its the same thing as having a red card, definitely, your game plan for today is zero, although I prefer not to see coach Amodou come in, as he plays very poorly, but at the same time, I prefer coach Siasia over coach Lagerback.
I still think we can still qualify for the next round, what is needed now is absolute concentration and adequate preparation.
As for Kaita, I beg you never to play for SE again, please for your good forget SE team otherwise you will have it hot, remember its easy to get you where you play your game in Russia, although I am not based there, but I can get down there or contract bad guys to come for you, you stupid animal........ fool.

God bless Nigeria.
posted: 10:39 pm
when we will be tired of corruption? only in nigeria i see tribalism and religions in football,what fat ass like yakubu and co,are doing in a world cup tornament like this,they all play acient football,a top 9 that cant make a good move niather to space itself,you guys have disappointed us too much,is better for us to play with home base ratter than all this belebele,where did this happen our so called NFF hired a coach just to go world cup if that caoch is good but there is no time for him to build our tearm,please mr president goodluck is not only the the presidencial carbinet need desolve also all this thieves and 419 called NFF desolve them for us,only football make us united and happy in this country,we nigerians are tired of this nonsence.
posted: 08:52 am
Wizzy, Wizzy, Wizzy write a book ma broda. Pity it took 2 loses to Argentina & Greece 4 u guys 2 c how filthy & dirty ur football is on corruption and age cheating. I 'm glad it had to come straight from naija & not any other country for a change!!!!

Once again goodluck to all the Mother Land teams...
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