Santos hails team performance


The Greeks played over an hour of the game with just ten men after midfielder Kostas Katsouranis was shown his second yellow card in the 38th minute, and their coach hailed the team’s brave performance as they held on for a draw despite being a man down.

"It affected the game fundamentally - 11 versus 11 is different," Santos said. "I told my players that they have to work well defensively and stay compact and go on the counter attack.

“At some times, we were shooting off-target continuously.

“But my players were brilliant in terms of how they performed on the pitch.”

Despite being under pressure for most of the second period, Greece held firm for a point, yet Santos feels they could have gone on to record all three points with the full team on the field.

"The second half was very tough for us,” he said. “I want to congratulate the players because they played well after the red card.

“Had there been no red card, I felt that we could have won the game."

The Greeks are bottom of Group C, and will need maximum points against African giants Ivory Coast in order to harbour any hopes of progressing from the group.

"Against Ivory Coast, there is no other solution but to win,” said Santos. “We are depending on ourselves and Colombia versus Japan.”

The Europeans will need Colombia to do them a favour against Japan in order for them to progress, and Santos has pleaded to his South American rivals to do the business against the Samurai Blue.

"Colombia, please don't let Japan win!” said the Greek coach.

“As respectful as I am, that's all I can say."