Thursday, 17 June 2010

Greece 2 v 1 Nigeria

I now predict that Greece will win the World Cup. Not really. Tyche explains a lot in life, and was certainly at work in today's match. We looked all set for another terrible display and humiliating exit from the tournament when, first, the goddess possessed Sani Kaita to kick out at Torosidis and get sent off, then she inspired Salpingidis' shot to wickedly deflect off the Nigerian defender and into the net, before she went for Taiwo's groin, Echiejile's hamstring and the hands of the Nigerian keeper, who fumbled an easy Tziolis' effort for Torosidis to score the winner.

Obviously, for Greece to do well, the other team needs to be handicapped, but I can't see our good fortune extending to the game against Argentina, even if Argentina's prowess going forward is matched by their ineptitude at the back.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thats harsh. Greece had numerous chances to score even more goals and the shot that the keeper fumbled had a slight swerve that is a constant with this stupid new ball.

Savvas Tzionis

Hermes said...

Hellas actually had periods of very good play. When we decide to pass the ball on the ground rather than lob them in the air we actually look like a decent side. And we are not lucky the Nigerian got sent off. Kicking someone with your studs is a disciplinary weakness like a defensive error at the back.

Greece must try to win the last game. The mountain is enourmous but they must try. Otto must play Ninnis from the start.

John Akritas said...

I saw the match report on ERT News and couldn't believe the positive spin they put on it, saying Greece played really well and that it was all reminiscent of 2004. I thought our side was again poor and being outplayed – the goal we conceded was an embarrassment – until the sending off. I'm not saying Greece didn't deserve to win and didn't create chances, but if it hadn't been for the crazy sending off – and the injuries the Nigerians suffered, which also had the effect of preventing their coach from making tactical switches – Greece would probably have gone down. But it's true, you can't put the victory down to luck alone. Greece did go for it, showed some spirit and quality, and it was a masterstroke from Rehhagel bringing Samaras on for Papastathopoulos – on a yellow – straight after the sending off and taking the initiative. There is no way, however, that this team is as good as the 2004 version, and I'll be amazed if it takes anything off Argentina – who are, mind you, hopeless defensively. Ninis did look a proper player when he came on and could trouble the Argentineans.

Ultimately, however, forget the analysis, the victory was thrilling and it was great to be able to celebrate goals and a win.

And let's not forget the great save Tzorvas made off Yakuba. Tzorvas looks a crap keeper to me, but he kept us in the game in this instance.

lastgreek said...

Bloemfontein-

Vale, vale, vale, goooooooooooal!

Unbridled joy.

J, did you watch the France-Mexico game? What a snoozer. zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Nonetheless, Mexico's discipline and team effort defeated a much more talented France side (on paper, at least), the two most important characteristics the Greece team lacked in game 1.

And we are not lucky the Nigerian got sent off. Kicking someone with your studs is a disciplinary weakness like a defensive error at the back.-

Agreed. I also like to add that it's not necessarily easy to play against a team that is short one man. The short-handed team will form a tight defensive shell, especially when they have the lead . . . and they usually turn their game up a notch. Well, Nigeria did indeed go into a defensive shell, but they failed to raise their game. The Greeks raised their game! (lol--actually, they finally woke up and started playing football!) Full credit to Greece. It was not just a win; it was a much deserved win.

Bloemfontein


PS: Argentina has the Catalan (Messi). Greece has the clever Ninis--the modern Greek Odysseus. Now, if only the old man will start him :(

PPS: First word that came to mind when I watched Ninis play in the last 10 mins of the game: SHARP!

John Akritas said...

I did see France, Mexico and thought France were awful – worse than us against S. Korea and the Australians against Germany. Interestingly, though, LG; if Greece does get through to the next stage, they'll meet someone from the France, Mexico, Uruguay, S. Africa group – all of whom are beatable.

lastgreek said...

Today, I think England did a wonderful impersonation of France. Yeech! What a dreadful game.

Bloemfontein

Hermes said...

England is still ordinary despite Capello. There are simply not enough English players playing in the top EPL clubs. It is an over-inflated league controlled by journeymen businessmen and marketing interests that is about to come crashing down in a mountain of debt.

Compare to the Bundesliga where fans must own 51% of the club and is the most profitable in Europe. Also, they have the cheapest tickets in Europe.

John Akritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

Now, my hopes are with Slovenia, for them to knock England out of the tournament altogether.-

I was cheering for the U.S. over Slovenia. The Slovenian Foreign Minister announced last weeek that his country is continuously supporting Freedonia's entry into the E.U. and NATO, so that pissed me off. Anyways, very exciting game. Pity the official called off the last U.S. goal. I doubt very much if he'll ever officiate another FIFA game.

H, I recall reading that nearly two-thirds of EPL players are foreigners.

Bloemfontein

Anonymous said...

I picked this gem up from a Greek football blog:

The night before the game, the players should get together with some local africans and sacrifice Vyntra.-

LOL That's funny!

Anonymous said...

Gasp ... I almost forgot!

Bloemfontein

Anonymous said...

It was a festive and joyous day at Bloemfontein, under icy conditions. At 17 hours the temperature had dropped to 5 degrees. The sun had set over the stadium and the only warmth comfort was provided by the Greek goals and Greek victory. Bloemfontein is 4 hours drive from Johannesburg, unlike in PE, we had a massive number of cheering fans which travelled from JHB. The Greek fans from Greece number around 2000, the rest are from the large Greek communities in SA. Oddly enough we met a group of Greeks from Uruguay and Argentine, 8 of them, and one Greek from Chile. There were other contingents from Australia, NZ , but the " South Americans" were friendlier and seemingly more sociable. There must have been 4000-5000 fans in the Stadium. The best part of the day was after the match when our group went to the Hellenic center of Bloemfontein , to celebrate with gallons of ouzo, ( we needed the ouzo, vodka and shnaps to keep us warm ) lamb on the spit, souvla , locumades and other homeland delicacies. There were about 1300 hundred people crammed inside the hall, outside the emperature had dropped to 0 degree. This Tsikla lady is a magic woman, she has superb organizational skills, extraordinary host, and is really treating us like VIP's. With the win we celebrated the occasion with excitement. The cold is still here. Tomorrow we shall have to start moving to Polokwane, up north. The evenings get quite cold over there. For the match against Argentina, the feeling is that somewhow we should be able to draw a point. The Argentines are now starting to rev and functioning like a well oiled engine . We have no other choice than defend to the last men. Higuain, Messi, Tevez, Aguero, and Millito are attacking formations which can cleave the most solid defensive lineouts. Our boys are fantastic, but we lack attacking forwards with a sharp snout for goals, one of those things. A match has to be played and anything can happen. According to our Greek -Argentine friends,( who by the way have never been to Greece and imagine that Homer,Hraclitus and Aeschyllus still walk the streets of Athens; their picture of Greece is that of Magna Grecia; two of them amazed me beyond amazement for their knowledge of Archea hellenika) Argentinians favor Greece to qualify; they detest the mexicans and abhor the black nigerians. They are telling me that Maradona will use this match as a " test, training exercise to improvise new tactics and schemes". They do not need the points. They will treat us with respect, that is what they said. Apart for these niceties, the reality on the ground, facing the formidable Argentinians, is no cause for joy.

Hermes said...

John, we agree on many things but not on the quality of the EPL. I believe it is a crappy league. Despite the years of French, Italian and Spanish coaches it still appears to be a weekend kick and rush game. Real football can be seen in Italy and Spain where technique and tactics rule. Italy is on the way to reforming their league as well and some of the bad stadiums and crowd violence will soon be improved. Spanish and Italian clubs are better capitalised and will soon by buying players galore.

Anonymous, please provide more updates. And please treat those South American Hellenes well. It must be awful to be surrounded by Latin Americans. Almost as bad as being surrounded by Australians.

John Akritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

Argentinians favor Greece to qualify; they detest the mexicans and abhor the black nigerians. They are telling me that Maradona will use this match as a " test, training exercise to improvise new tactics and schemes". They do not need the points. They will treat us with respect, that is what they said.-

Argentina would rather play Mexico than Uruguay in the next round. Maradona will be watching the Group A results very closely.

As for Greece... vale, vale, vale goal! We have to go all out for the win. Screw the tie--I am afraid that the earlier 2-nil result will come back to bite us if it all comes down to goal difference.

This Tsikla lady is a magic woman...-

You think you can have her put a magic spell on Vyntra?

Ninis for the win!

Bloemfontein

lastgreek said...

I must say... Denmark-Cameroon played very exciting football. It was like an EPL match.

The common refrain from football bloggers on the Greece-Argentina match next week:

Greece will be destroyed.

The Greeks will be destroyed.

I hate to hear shit like that. Come Tuesday, I hope they shove their words where the sun don't shine!

Interesting note: Of the teams that have had a one-man advantage on the pitch--Serbia, Ghana--only Greece has raised their game and taken advantage of the situation.

Any word on the magic/voodoo spell on Vyntra?

bloemfontein

lastgreek said...

The Italy-New Zealand match. Watched it. Doesn't the New Zealand centre back Ryan Nelsen remind you of the Colossus of
Rhodes Dellas? Un-friggin'-canny!

Every team is beatable.

All together now . . .

When I get older, I will be stronger,
They'll call me freedom, just like a Waving Flag,
And then it goes back, and then it goes back,
And then it goes back


Bloemfontein

lastgreek said...

Who is this mounopano Martin Keown of the BBC? In the Greece-Nigeria match, did he actually say he wanted the Greeks to go home?

I recall another English sports commentator here in Montreal a few years ago having a hissy fit when Greece qualified for Euro 2008.

Hermes said...

LG, here is a guide to help in sorting out who to support in the World Cup. It shows which countries only recognise FYROM as FYROM:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MacedoniaNameDisputeMap.svg

Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark and Mexico retain my support. The rest can get stuffed.

Anonymous said...

We are gathered here in Polowkwane; rather a forlorn place; a suitable environ to send someone like pangalos, o diamantopolou into exile. The news from the Argentine camp is that Maradona is going to place Higuain,Aguero,(Messi) Milito as starters on the forward line. Tevez will be rested, as will a few others. Aguero and Messi are a dangerous duo, with their reflex passes and economy of spacing. There is not a sizable hellenic community on this spot, there is nothing organized after the match. We don't know if we will be able to say farewell to Tsiklas for her hospitality to the fans. The Greek community here , and our fans , are excited about our team. If the Argentines pass the test against us, the community and those fans that stay behind ,till the end of the competition , will be supporting the Argies all the way to the final.

lastgreek said...

A message to the Ethniki:

No prisoners!

No mercy!

Thump their Argentinian asses good, boys. And once you're done, rip them another a-hole . . . and thump that too!

Who's afraid of 4th generation Italians, eh?!

Hermes said...

Argentina has recognised the "Republic of Macedonia". If we lose tonight all Greeks should withdraw their support from Argentina.

lastgreek said...

Ethniki:

Form your ranks! HOLD TOGETHER!