Embarrassing Ethniki Results Since 2014
The Greek National Team suffered a fresh embarrassment in the disastrous loss to Estonia at OAKA, marking its drop into Pot 4 for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers and poor third place finish in the UEFA Nations League. It brought back bad memories for players and fans alike, as the ‘heavy climate’ associated with the team since its demise in 2014 resurfaced. AGONAsport looks back at some of the Ethniki’s “embarrassing” losses since 2014.
The Ethniki has not participated in a major tournament since the 2014 FIFA World Cup and it is no surprise that the number of defeats has doubled since that time. This is in spite of a high player turnover and several coaching changes. The atmosphere is rotten to the core and shows no signs of changing.
The years of 2002-2014 marked a golden era for Greek football, featuring the famous Euro 2004 triumph, a Euro 2012 Quarter Final appearance, and a World Cup 2014 Round of 16 appearance. The team was built on continuity, was highly close knit and was mentally strong refusing to lose. The playing style was usually dogged but it yielded results.
Since Otto Rehhagel took over in 2001, the Ethniki enjoyed more wins than losses in each and every year right up until 2014 when Fernando Santos departed. During this time, the team played 167 games and delivered a return of 78 wins, 45 draws and 37 losses.
Conversely, since Euro 2016 qualifying the team has played 41 games for 13 wins, 9 draws and 19 losses. Among these 19 losses there were some embarrassing moments including two defeats at the hands of the Faroe Islands. The first led to Claudio Ranieri’s sacking and it put Greek football back on the map for the wrong reasons. A poor loss to Luxembourg in a friendly was another bitter pill to swallow in Michael Skibbe’s first game in charge.
These negative results have continued. Estonia won at OAKA this time around, however, they also picked up a goalless draw in 2017 during 2018 World Cup qualifying. This was arguably the beginning of the end for Skibbe. The meek 4-1 surrender in Zagreb against Croatia when so much was on the line during the Play Off stage of qualifying was the icing on the cake.
Below is a list of the Ethniki’s results to forget since the downfall began in 2014.
14-Oct-14: Greece - N. Ireland 0:2 (Euro 2016 qualifying)
14-Nov-14: Greece - Faroe Islands 0:1 (Euro 2016 qualifying)
13-Jun-15: Faroe Islands- Greece 2:1 (Euro 2016 qualifying)
4-Sep-15: Greece - Finland 0:1 (Euro 2016 qualifying)
8-Oct-15: N. Ireland - Greece 3:1 (Euro 2016 qualifying)
13-Nov-15: Luxembourg - Greece 1:0 (Friendly)
9-Nov-16: Greece - Belarus 0:1 (Friendly)
31-Aug-17: Greece - Estonia 0:0 (2018 World Cup qualifier)
9-Nov-17: Croatia - Greece 4:1 (2018 World Cup qualifier)
11-Sep-18: Hungary - Greece 2:1 (UEFA Nations League)
15-Oct-18: Finland - Greece 2:0 (UEFA Nations League)
18-Nov-18: Greece - Estonia 0:1 (UEFA Nations League)