Greece reach last eight as Russia exit Euro 2012
A Giorgos Karagounis goal seconds before the break gave 2004 champions Greece a surprise 1-0 win over Russia in Euro 2012 Group A on Saturday, giving them a shock quarter-final berth at their rivals' expense.sports Updated: Jun 17, 2012 02:50 IST
A Giorgos Karagounis goal seconds before the break gave 2004 champions Greece a surprise 1-0 win over Russia in Euro 2012 Group A on Saturday, giving them a shock quarter-final berth at their rivals' expense.
The win left the Greeks as group runners-up ahead of the Russians on the head to head rule, both having four points to six for group winners the Czech Republic, who beat co-hosts Poland 1-0.
The Russians, 16 matches unbeaten, had most of the possession against a Greek side which had lost their last four straight meetings with their rivals and Alexander Kerzhakov and then Andrei Arshavin both sent early efforts off target against a side needing a win to have any hope of advancing.
But Karagounis, a 35-year-old veteran of the Greeks' 2004 shock final win in Portugal, drove home right-footed to stun Dick Advocaat's side.
The Russians began their tournament with a 4-1 demolition of the Czech Republic in their tournament opener and then held co-hosts Poland to a draw but they failed to find their form in the second half as Karagounis looked to have won a penalty for the Greeks.
Tackled by Sergeo Ignashevich, the veteran went down but was then booked for diving - meaning he will miss the quarters.
Giorgos Tzavellas then hit the bar as the Greeks tried to increase their advantage - but they held out for a famous success.