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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Euro 2008: Greece Eliminated after Losing to Russia 1-0

The critics of Greece will now get more ground to claim Greece’s Euro 2004 triumph a fluke. After winning the title of Euro 2004 four years back, Greece has found themselves eliminated after losing two back to back matches of Euro 2008. Defending champion Greece started their Euro 2008 campaign with the defeat to Sweden 2-0, and last night they were beaten by Russia 1-0. So, with this defeat their elimination has been ensured from the group stage of Euro 2008. No doubt, Greece fans are disheartened with their performance in the tournament.

Russia has now every possibility to enter into the quarter final round of Euro 2008. If Russia can win over Sweden in the last group stage match, they will be through to the last eight of the tournament. Greece’s formidable defense four years back helped them win the Euro title, but this time around, their defense looked a bit disorganized. Greece conceded goal against Russia due to an error of the defense and experienced goal keeper Antonis Nikopolidis also has to take the responsibility of that goal. Konstantin Zyryanov scored for Russia just tapping in Captain Sergei Semak’s overhead shot past goal keeper, after Giourkas Seitaridis failed to clear a cross from the left side. With this victory, Russia is active in the quarter final race, while Greece is out of the tournament.

Two Greek Players Announced Retirement
Following the heartbreaking defeat, two Greek played announced their retirement from international football after their last group stage match against Spain. Goal Keeper Antonis Nikopolidis, at 37, is the oldest player in the squad and he had a great role behind Greece’s success four years back in Euro 2004, but this time he has had an unimpressive tournament. The other player who retired is defender Paraskevas Antzas. The 31-year old defender did not disclose the reason behind his retirement, while Nikopolidis said that he had had retirement plan in his mind even before the tournament started.

Related articles:
International Herald Tribune

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