Young guns outplay Malta 3-1
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.