2004 winners Greece defy the odds to make last eight of Euro 2012
Greece 1-0 Russia
Saturday 16 June 2012
Greece, the surprise Euro 2004 champions, produced another giant-killing in Warsaw to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and send Russia spinning out.
Giorgos Karagounis' well-taken goal, scored in first-half injury time, earned them a 1-0 victory over Dick Advocaat's side and sent them into the last eight along with the Czech Republic, who beat Poland.
It was a special day for the Greeks, although a mixed one for Karagounis who had a clear penalty shout turned down that could have made it 2-0 and was then booked for his protest - which means he will miss the quarter-finals through suspension.
Even so it was an amazing performance by Greece, who were clear underdogs on the night.
Russia, led by former Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin, were the more creative and attacking side in the first half but found Greece an extremely tough nut to crack.
The Greeks, who knew they had to win to stand any chance of reaching the quarter-finals, defended superbly and were also dangerous on the counter-attack and from set pieces - with Vyacheslav Malafeev tipping a Kostas Katsouranis effort over the bar.
Arshavin went very close to opening the scoring, however, early in the game when he saw a close-range effort well saved by Micharlis Sifakis.
That was followed by a wonderful long-range effort from Alexsandr Kerzhakov, which flew just wide - and then by an excellent run from former Chelsea star Yuri Zhirkov, whose cross was wasted.
But despite all their possession in the middle of the field and all their neat triangles the Russians couldn't find a way through - and they were done by the ultimate sucker punch.
The first half was already deep into injury time when Greece broke forward - and Karagounis drove into the area before drilling a fine shot across Malafeev and into the net for an unlikely lead.
With the powerful Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras leading the line, Greece then visibly grew in confidence after the break.
Igor Denislov's long-range curling shot almost gave Russia hope but Greece were now more than a match for their opponents and should have been given a penalty when Karagounis was clearly tripped by Anyukov.
The striker was incandescent with rage and to make matters worse was booked for his reaction - which means he misses the next game.
Giorgos Tzavellas then hit bar with with a free-kick before Sifakis made a fine save from Fulham's Pavel Pogrebnyak right at the death to seal a memorable victory.
Sifakis, Torossidis, Papastathopoulos, K Papadopoulos, Tzavellas, Maniatis, Katsouranis, Samaras, Karagounis (Fotakis 66), Salpingidis (Ninis 82), Gekas (Holebas 64)
Substitutes not used Chalkias, Tzorvas, Malezas, Makos, Liberopoulos, Mitroglou, Fortounis, Feffatzidis
Coach Fernando Santos
Malafeez, Anyukov (Izmailov 80), Berezutski, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Shirokov, Denisov, Glushakov (Pogrebnyak 72), Dzagoev, Kerzhakov (Pavlyuchenko 46), Arshavin.
Substitutes not used Akinfeev, Shunin, Sharono, Kombarov, Granat, Nababkin, Semshov
Coach Dick Advocaat
Referee Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)