WARSAW – Thanks to a stoppage-time goal by forward Giorgos Karagounis, Greece would edge Russia, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.
Karagounis, would score for Greece in stoppage time right before the halftime whistle to give Greece a 1-0 lead.
Greece would then hold off a determined Russian side in the second half to advance to the quartfinals for the first time since 2004.
The story of the match though was the fiery and vocal Karagounis.
With Greece on the attack, Karagounis would make a deep run into the Russian end, only to be tripped by Russian defenseman Sergei Ignashevich.
Karagounis would be booked a yellow card for diving and sent off for forward Grigoris Makos.
Thanks to a inspired Greek side, Russia would fail to take advantage despite outshooting Greece 31-8 and dominating the time of possession, 69 percent to 31 percent.
Russia, who would be the focal point of Euro 2012 due to supporters trying to march through the Polish capital of Warsaw to celebrate “Russia Day”, would be fined $150,000 from FIFA and a pending six point deduction for Euro 2016 qualifying.
Despite having such talented strikers in the form of Roman Pavlyuchenko, Alan Dzagoev and Andrei Arshavin, Russia now gets to watch the rest of Euro 2012 instead of playing it.
With the loss, Russia is eliminated from Euro 2012 along with long-time bitter rival in co-host, Poland, who would lose 1-0 to the Czech Republic.
For Greece, the win is a small bit of good news for a country that is facing economic trumoil and uncertainty.
Hopefully, this Greek side–like 2004–can make another unexpected run at a second European title.
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