-- A Defeat for Greece in the Warm-Up --
|Greece||0 - 1||Belarus|
Greece fell to Belarus 0-1 in their friendly encounter at the Giorgios Karaiskaki Stadium with a first half rocket from Palicevic. Michael Skibbe made many changes to the starting line-up with hopes of “saving” his players for their important qualifier against Bosnia on Sunday. Today's loss puts an end to Greece's 5-game winning streak.
Michael Skibbe made many changes to the Starting XI for today’s friendly encounter against Belarus, knowing that his side have a crucial World Cup Qualifier on Sunday against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Greece started off the match in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Glykos under the goal posts and Maniatis, Oikonomou, K. Papadopoulos, and Stafylidis from right to left in front of him. Tziolis and Samaris were in the defensive midfield positions while Gianniotas (right) and Karelis (left) played on the wings. Mantalos was behind the lone striker which was Vellios.
Greece played their worst half under their new manager, Michael Skibbe, in the opening 45 minutes. The Galanolefki failed to create a single chance in the first half while Belarus threatened on many occasions, especially in the opening 20 minutes. In the 14th minute, the breakthrough came for the visitors with a rocket of a free kick from Palicevic that left no chance to Glykos. Belarus came extremely close to doubling their lead shortly thereafter with two good chances with Laptev and Savitskiy.
In the second half, Skibbe made substitutions by adding players that will likely start against Bosnia on Sunday with Papastathopoulos, Torosidis, and Fortounis entering the pitch. Greece was better in the second half, but did not create many chances as the best opportunity fell to Fortounis, which was kept out by Chernick. On the other hand, Belarus comfortably held onto their lead and the final whistle put an end to Greece's five-game winning streak.
In addition to the many changes in the starting lineup, it was evident that the Greek players had their minds on Sunday’s qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sunday's match will take place at the Giorgios Karaiskakis Stadium and kickoff is scheduled for 2:45 PM (EST).
It is also sad to report that a small section of Olympiacos fans yelled insulting things to PAOK's Georgios Tzavellas. It was clear that this groups of fans came to the Karaiskaki Stadium in hopes of attacking players of the "opposing" club rather than supporting the National Team. Shameful to say the least....