Young guns out­play Malta 3-1

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Goals from Greece’s new gen­er­a­tion – two from Yian­nis Fet­fatzidis and one from Kyr­i­akos Pa­padopou­los – helped the na­tional soc­cer team stay at the top of its Euro 2012 qual­i­fy­ing group with a 31 win over Malta in Pi­raeus on Satur­day.

Greece re­mains one point ahead of Croa­tia, which beat Ge­or­gia 2-1 at home on June 3, and is the fa­vorite to snatch the top spot that se­cures di­rect qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the fi­nals in Poland and Ukraine next year.

The early goal that Fet­fatzidis scored for Greece in the eighth minute al­lowed the na­tional team to shake any wor­ries it might have had and give fans a spec­tac­u­lar first 35 min­utes that pro­duced two goals and plenty of chances as the hap­less vis­i­tors tried to weather the Greek storm.

How­ever, af­ter the 35-minute mark, Greece’s ini­tial en­thu­si­asm ap­peared to sub­side, per­haps due to the two-goal lead, al­low­ing the Mal­tese to threaten keeper Dimi Kon­stan­topou­los.

Coach Fer­nando Santos’s squad was lucky to avoid con­ced­ing an equal­izer in the 60th minute and sealed all three points three min­utes later, in what was a key point in the game.

An­other pos­i­tive as­pect to Satur­day’s match was the un­ex­pect­edly high turnout that saw some 20,000 fans fill­ing the Karaiskakis Sta­dium with a vi­brant at­mos­phere.

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