Hellas downs Canada
Teenage star Giannis Fetfatzidis scored his first ever goal for the Greek International team on Wednesday, giving Greece a 1-0 win over Canada in a friendly played in Larisa.
Greece extended its unbeaten run under Fernando Santos to seven games by beating Canada in front of a packed stadium in Larissa. The brand new AEL FC Arena in central Greece attracted a boisterous crowd.
Greece, currently ranked 10th in FIFA World Rankings, did little to prove its ranking in the first half as both sides had spells of possession that failed to break into the final third.
Greece took control of the game early in the second half, due to strong showings from their youth. Ioannis Fetfatzidis provided the winner for Greece in the 63rd minute, taking advantage of a missed clearance attempt from the Canadian defense.
Canada, ranked 80th, will be disappointed with a draw after applying heavy pressure late on. In the opening minutes, possession was spotty as both teams were pressuring high.
Canada broke into the final third first, as the pressure forced a turnover from the Greek backline. Canadian possession in the final third produced a few goal attempts, but poor finishing led to wasted chances.
Greece counter attacked and had several good chances, first through veteran Dimitris Salpingidis, who was forced wide and his attempt was easily saved by Milan Borjan and then when full back Vasilis Torosidis put a pinpoint cross onto the foot of Nikos Lymberopoulos, but the aging forward couldn't turn it on net.
Canada's possession was dominated by the strong play of Dwayne De Rosario and Josh Simpson, the later almost netting the opening goal ten minutes from halftime after some nice footwork.
The first half for the Greeks was controlled by Sotiris Ninis and Torosidis down the right side of the field.
The finishing from both sides left the first half at 0-0 as neither side could test the keepers.
Greece started the second half with Kostas Mitroglou coming on and making an immediate impact.
Fetfatzidis put Mitrolgou behind the Canadian defenders with a through-ball, but he was unable to put the ball on frame after rounding Borjan.
A few minutes later the two combined again, this time Mitroglou struck twine but was ruled offside. For the third time in ten minutes Mitroglou was put one-on-one with Borjan. This time goalkeeper Borjan got the better of the Greek and kept the game even.
After controlling much of the second half, the breakthrough came for the Greeks in the 63rd minute.
Adam Straith attempted to clear a ball in the Canadian penalty area, and the mis-hit ball dropped to Fetfatzidis near the penalty spot.
The skilled youngster made no mistake and fired home into the top left corner, earning his first international goal.
A few minutes later, Fetfatzidis almost had a second when he intercepted Borjan's pass.
The Canadian keeper redeemed himself and turned Fetfatzidis' shot wide of the net. Fifteen minutes from time, Canada started to put pressure on the Greek
De Rosario had a wonderfully taken free kick saved by the outstretched arm of Kostas Chalkias. Canada piled on the pressure in the final minutes of the game, earning a corner kick.
Rob Friend was left unmarked at the top of the six yard box but missed the inside of the post by inches.
As time rolled into stoppage time, Borjan ran the length of the field to add another attacker for the upcoming corner kick.
Greece cleared the ball to Fetfatzidis whose half field attempt on an empty net was just wide.
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