Experimental Greece side beaten by relegated Estonia
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE - MATCHDAY 6
|Greece||0 - 1||Estonia|
|Lampropoulos (OG) 44'|
A Vasilis Lampropoulos own goal condemned Greece to its third loss in six Nations League games, as Estonia won 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on Sunday.
The Greeks struggled to create chances against some staunch defending by the Estonians, whose physical approach made life difficult for the hosts.
Greece has finished the group on nine points from six games in third place behind Finland and Hungary, while Estonia were relegated to Division D. Hungary defeated Finland 2:0 in the group’s other match.
Recently-installed Greece coach Angelos Anastasiadis fielded an experimental side with nine changes from the starting lineup three days earlier against Finland.
The home team showed enough energy on a rainy night, but was clearly missing cohesion. It was therefore left to the individual devices of its players that narrowly failed to produce any goals.
As if missing chance after chance throughout the first half was not enough for Greece, Lampropoulos tried to mark Rauno Sappinen in the box, after a Sergei Zenjov cross from the left, and sent the ball into his own net to give the Estonians an unlikely lead two minutes before half-time.
Greece’s best chance to score came in the 62nd minute when substitute Kostas Fortounis hit the post from a direct free kick.
The Greeks frustrations grew as the ball would not go in, with a bicycle kick by Nikos Karelis not finding the target as well as long-range shots from Tasos Bakasetas, while the Estonians focused on time-wasting.
The Greeks will now have to wait for the draw of the Euro 2020 qualifiers that kick off in March 2019. After today’s results, Greece will be placed in lowly Pot 4 for the December 2nd draw for the EURO qualifiers.