Portsmouth striker Fanis Gekas says that only a win against Israel on Wednesday will do if Greece want to qualify for the World Cup.
Gekas, who has yet to play for Pompey since joining in January, opened the score for the national side but the Israelis pegged the visitors back.
Greece are now level with Switzerland in first place in Group 2 on 10 points. Israel are just a point behind, which means that there is a lot riding on the return game between the two sides at the Pankritio Stadium, even though Greece still have to play the Swiss away from home.
“We have to win the game on Wednesday. The following game against Switzerland is a long way off,” said Gekas.
“Only a win will do. We are only interested in all three points.”
Gekas, who has scored eight goals in his last eight competitive games for Greece, saw his team mates squander two injury time chances to win the game and admits that the national side missed a great chance to return with all three points.
“We could have won the game but we could have lost as well. We expected more from Israel and we really had a chance to win here. We thought they would be better and put more pressure on us.
“Now, we have a chance to beat them in Crete and end their chances of qualification.”
Coach Otto Rehhagel agreed with Gekas’ view that Greece could have lost the game and that Greece have to win Wednesday’s match, when they will welcome back suspended midfielder Costas Katsouranis.
“Katsouranis is one of our most important players and I expect him and the other players to take on responsibility so that we can win the game on Wednesday,” said Rehhagel.
“We have played in Crete in the past and have good memories. I hope the fans will come and fill the stadium.”