Sandyhills' Portugal Game View

Last updated : 14 June 2004 By Sandyhills Bear

They looked up for it from the start and could have went ahead in the first minute, Vryzas crossing for Charisteas who missed his kick from 6 yards. That was a left off for Portugal but they were not so lucky when Greece took the lead 5 minutes later.

Paulo Ferreira looked anything but the 13m fee Chelsea are rumoured to be paying when he gave the ball away under no great pressure. Karagounis picked the ball up, strode on unchallenged and unleashed a daisy-cutter from 25 yards into the bottom corner. 1-0 Greece.

Another defensive error almost let Greece in again 2 minutes later but Charisteas shot wide from a good position. Fyssas then volleyed over the bar and after 13 minutes, the hosts were lucky not to be more than one down.

Portugal eventually began to find their feet and Anrade shot wide from the edge of the box before Costinha picked up the first booking of the competition for a trip on Karagounis. Charisteas then headed just over from a corner.

Rui Costa put a free header wide as Portugal seemed to suffer from a lack of confidence and inabilty to break down the Greeks. The rest of the hlaf then petered out with not much in thae way of goalmouth action.

Portugal made 2 changes at the start of the 2nd half with Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco replacing Simao and Rui Costa. The Greeks also made a change with Katsouranis replacing the goalscorer Karagounis who picked up a caution in the first half.

The Greeks went 2 up in the 50th minute courtesy of a penalty. Seitaridis was played in with a slide-rule pass, Cristiano Ronaldo got on the wrong side of him and bundled him to the ground, Basinas converted the penalty with aplomb. The Portuguese were now in deep trouble and Ronaldo was eager to make up for his error, showing lots of fancy footwork but lacking the end product.

Portugal took off Costinha and brought on Nuno Gomes to play up front alongside Pauleta as they tried desperately to get back into the game. Greece soon made a change of their own, taking off the hard working Giannakopoulos and replacing him with Nikolaidis, and then made their final sub in the 74th minute with Lakis replacing Charisteas who had contributed a lot to Greece's success even if his finishing was not what it might have been.

Portugal enjoyed a great deal of possession and territorial advantage but couldn't break down the resolute Greeks defence. By the time Ronaldo headed home a Figo corner there were 93 minutes on the clock and the goal was nothing more than a consolation.

Soon after the final whistle went and Greece had achieved their first ever victory at a major finals. A lot of credit for the result has to go to their coach Otto Rehhagel who got their tactics sport on. Portugal will probably now have to defeat Russia and Spain to qualify for the next stage and that's not going to be easy. A big improvement required from the hosts if they are to make the knockout stages.

Sandyhills Bear