A disappointing Greece suffered a friendly 2-0 defeat to Senegal in Volos on Wednesday in a match supposed to mirror Greece’s World Cup match against Nigeria this June.
In this sole home friendly ahead of the South Africa finals, the national team had a slow pace to their game and produced very little excitement for the near-capacity crowd at the Panthessaliko Stadium in central Greece.
The Senegalese played a more composed game with greater speed and strength across the pitch and had a world-class striker, captain Mamadou Niang in their squad.
The Marseille striker gave the African side the lead at the 71st minute after running rings around Greek defenders Nikos Spyropoulos and Sotiris Kyrgiakos and slotting the ball past substitute keeper Costas Chalkias.
Nine minutes later Senegal scored again through a direct free-kick from the right by Guirane Ndaw.
Greece’s best chance fell to Giorgos Samaras who came within a whisker of making contact with the ball in the six-yard box at the 37th minute.
The game marked the first cap of Steaua Bucharest striker Pantelis Kapetanos, who played the first 45 minutes as a centre forward but without making any impact on the Senegalese defence.
The national team rose two places to the 10th spot in the world according to the official FIFA rankings for February, but this result in Volos is certain to throw them out of the top-10 again.