Denmark – Greece: Visitors implode after having Manolas sent off early in the second half
Ref.: Mr Keith Hackett
L 1: Brian Hill
L 2: Vic Callow
Written by: kaltz
By now, Group 1 had reached the halfway point, and with both the top two seen with home fixtures against the lesser two, perhaps it could be an opportunity for Denmark or Romania, or indeed both, to work on their goal difference, which could eventually turn out to be the decisive factor to win the group. To Denmark, the point that the Greeks had managed to wrestle away from Romania in the Athens fixture three weeks earlier, had been precious. It pulled them a point nearer to the group leaders, and at the end of the European summer the two were due to meet twice, matches that would eventually decide the representant of Group 1 from the UEFA zone in Italy ’90. However, another win tonight for both Romania and Denmark would rule out the opportunity for the group to be decided by goal difference.
Denmark had been solid if not sparkling during their 2-0 win in Bulgaria, their first of the qualifiers. Greece had done well in the latter parts of their 0-0 home match against Romania, having been the inferior side for about an hour. They stood no chance by now for qualification, but were still seen as a tricky opponent for the Danish, who had struggled to return from Athens with a point on the opening day of the group seven months earlier. In each of their last three qualification tournaments, Denmark had surrendered just one point from their home campaigns. This time around, Bulgaria had already collected a point in ‘Parken, so were they to follow their own pattern, they would win their remaining two home matches. They would remember well how the Greeks had won 1-0 in Copenhagen in the qualifiers ahead of the ’82 World Cup, and would be adament not to suffer the same fate again. Traditionally, Greece had not travelled well, even if they had won an away qualifier here and there during the first half of the 80s. Apart from that win in Denmark, however, a two point return had come from travels to minnows Luxembourg and Cyprus, the latter admittedly a country that sees the Greeks as their main footballing rivals. They had also recorded a win in Budapest during the ’84 qualifiers.
Importantly, Denmark had available to them again the world wide recognized talent of their no 10 Michael Laudrup. For the first time ever in a qualifying match, he would take to the field alongside his younger brother Brian, another remarkable Danish talent, and someone whose footballing future had already seen a lot of speculation. He was still with Danish champions Brøndby, but he had been said to be eager to test himself abroad. The Danish league, played by the calendar year, had still not reached its halfway stage. Absent from last time out in Sofia was left-sided full-back/flank man Jan Heintze due to suspension. He had accumulated two yellow cards so far in the qualification. Piontek had drafted Anderlecht’s wide midfielder Henrik Andersen into the squad to compensate for the loss of the PSV player. Andersen, 24, already had 14 caps to his name, and had indeed represented the Danish during the Mexico World Cup. Young Vejle midfielder Henrik Risom had to give way as he was left out of the squad.
Greece had strong midfielder Tasos Mitropoulos available after his one match suspension following two yellow cards from the first two matches. He had been replaced by Olympiakos team mate Savvidis for the home match against Romania, but Savvidis had to be content with a place on the subs’ bench for this tie in Copenhagen, as Georgiadis chose to re-install Mitropoulos to the midfield, and even gave him the captain’s armband despite Saravakos’ presence. Other than that, it would again appear that Tsaloukhidis, a third central defender against the Danish in Athens, would take up a midfield anchor role, as seen against Romania.
Denmark boasted a 6-2-2 record against the Greeks, and the visitors’ last win had come in that 1982 World Cup qualifier in Copenhagen nearly nine years earlier. Referee was 44 year old Englishman Keith Hackett, in charge of his 11th international fixture since his debut back in ’83.
|1 Peter Schmeichel||25||Brøndby|
|2 John Sivebæk||sub 30′||27||Saint-Étienne|
|3 Kent Nielsen||27||Brøndby|
|4 Lars Olsen (c)||28||Brøndby|
|5 John Larsen||26||Vejle|
|6 Jan Bartram||sub 75′||27||Bayer Uerdingen|
|7 Morten Olsen||39||Köln|
|8 John Jensen||24||Hamburg|
|9 Flemming Povlsen||22||Köln|
|10 Michael Laudrup||24||Juventus|
|11 Brian Laudrup||20||Brøndby|
|12 Henrik Andersen||on 75′||24||Anderlecht|
|13 John Helt||29||Lyngby|
|14 Kim Vilfort||on 30′||26||Brøndby|
|15 Lars Elstrup||26||Odense|
|16 Troels Rasmussen||28||AGF|
|1 Spyros Oikonomopoulos||29||AEK|
|2 Stratos Apostolakis||sub h-t||25||Olympiakos|
|3 Iakovas Khatziathanasiou||86′||27||Panathinaikos|
|4 Stelios Manolas||15′, 54′||27||AEK|
|5 Kostas Mavridis||26||Panathinaikos|
|6 Giotis Tsaloukhidis||26||Olympiakos|
|7 Dimitris Saravakos||27||Panathinaikos|
|8 Giorgos Papadopoulos||21||Iraklis|
|9 Giannis Samaras||28||Panathinaikos|
|10 Tasos Mitropoulos (c)||sub 50′||31||Olympiakos|
|11 Nikos Tsiantakis||25||Olympiakos|
|12 Thanasis Dimopoulos||26||Iraklis|
|13 Giannis Kallitzakis||on 50′||23||Panathinaikos|
|14 Andreas Bonovas||25||Iraklis|
|15 Giorgios Plitsis||25||Iraklis|
|16 Elias Savvidis||on h-t||22||Olympiakos|
Piontek by now seems to have settled with a 3-5-2, and this was indeed a very attacking edition of this formation: the older Laudrup brother was darting forward from his left central midfield position at every opportunity, so it would often look as if the Danish were playing with three strikers. On the left hand side, Bartram was as energetic as ever, and his powerful runs were too much to cope with for Papadopoulos on the right hand side of the somewhat narrow Greek midfield (albeit, opposite Tsiantakis was doing a good job in trying to keep width). Georgiadis had again deployed Tsaloukhidis as something of a shield in front of his stoppers, and one would see both Mavridis (the designated libero) and also, although to a slightly lesser extent, Manolas cross the halfway line with the ball at their feet. Not that Greece threw caution to the wind, because if Mavridis trotted forward, Tsaloukhidis and possibly even the less mobile Mitropoulos would cover at the back. The same scenario could be seen when Manolas decided to charge up field.
Denmark had K Nielsen playing more or less as a man marker on Samaras. Early on the Danish central defenders seemed to rotate their positions a bit, but it was predominantly to facilitate Nielsen’s watch on the Greek no 9. Larsen would mainly operate to the right among the three central defenders (also looking out for Saravakos, though without a direct man-marking role), with Nielsen at times seen in the centre, and with L Olsen to his left. However, Lars Olsen was the libero; let there be no doubt about that. Denmark then almost seemed to benefit from the switch that Piontek had to make when Sivebæk felt his hamstring: Vilfort, normally a central midfielder, came on into his position after half an hour of play. The tall Brøndby man gave a more energetic display than the man he had replaced, who had perhaps aggravated his injury very early on, yet tried to play on to see if it was something he possibly could run off. In central midfield, Jensen gave a really dominant display during the first half, in which he time and again helped break down Greece’ build-ups.
Saravakos was this time around not tied to the right hand side; the diminutive forward was often seen in support of Samaras even to the big striker’s left hand side. He seemed to thrive in a more mobile role than had previously been seen.
For the start of the second period, Georgiadis has brought on central midfielder Savvidis for right back Apostolakis, a change which yielded a switch in formation from what was more or less a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2. Tsaloukhidis was brought back from his defensive midfield role into the heart of defence. Thus:
The home side saw no tactical changes for the start of the second half. Only five minutes in, visiting captain Mitropoulos went off to be replaced by defender Kalitzakis, prompting yet another change-around of Greek personnel, with Tsaloukhidis moving back into his original defensive midfield position, and the latest substitute into the central defensive line. However, as Manolas has to leave the field of play with his second yellow card on 54 minutes, the visitors have another change forced upon them, and this time their central defensive unit is reduced from three men to two: Georgiadis decides to continue with Tsaloukhidis in the same midfield anchor role, behind Savvidis and Tsiantakis, with Mavridis (right) and Kalitzakis (left) the sole two central defenders. Georgiadis is trying to be brave, as he assumes that withdrawing Tsaloukhidis from the defensive midfield position will totally expose his defence. The home side’s quick breaks are extremely difficult to handle for the visitors.
It is the Greeks who start the game through their two forwards Samaras and Saravakos, and the ball is immediately rolled all the way back to goalkeeper Oikonomopoulos. The Danish are, however, showing their intent by pressing the Greek players already from the word ‘go’, and in particular striker Povlsen looks committed to the cause. He will be the most advanced and central forward in the Danish line-up, which is very dynamic with the skilful Michael Laudrup in a roaming midfield role. At times one can see the two Laudrups use a kind of intuitive understanding between themselves, though the older of the two is also frustrated on a couple of occasions when his fledgling brother does not release the ball in time. It is still early on in Brian Laudrup’s international career, and it is expected he will be learning for some time to come yet.
The Greeks start out with four at the back, perhaps with Mavridis slightly more deep than Manolas at the heart of their defence, where Apostolakis on the right hand side has his hands (or feet rather!) more tied than his counterpart Khatziathanasiou on the other flank, who is more prone to venture into the Danish half. Tsaloukhidis is a reliable figure in the holding midfield role, and he will provide cover for his two centre halfs. Greece are aware of the home side’s strength in breaking quickly from defence, and a mobile and agile midfield is therefore a Greek necessity. It does appear early on, though, that re-installed skipper Mitropoulos is not in his best form. He had made a solid impression in the first leg between these two, but here he dwelled on the ball on a couple of occasions, and would lose it to the tigerish and interceptive Jensen in the Danish midfield. However, when Mitropoulos was given a bit of time coming deep into his own half to collect the ball, he would hit it long towards the head of Samaras or into space for Saravakos to run onto. It has to be said, though, that these tactics rarely caused the home side trouble.
It was Denmark who were on the front foot early on, as had been expected. Greece might be a difficult proposition at home, but on their travels they often leave a vulnerable impression. They struggle to get to grips with the two lively Danish forwards in the opening stages, and in particular the younger of the two Laudrup brothers is a worry to Khatziathanasiou, the Greek left back, who on a couple of occasions is in need of assistance from Manolas, the centre back operating nearest to left back territory. Denmark also win early corners from Khatziathanasiou’s side, and they are whipped into the goalmouth from Bartram’s left peg. On one occasion, Oikonomopoulos has to be alert and tip the ball over his own bar to avoid conceding directly from the corner kick. The near 40k capacity crowd are in good voice and in full support of their own team, knowing that only a win is good enough to keep up the pressure on Romania at the top of the table.
As the home side find their rhythm, they’re an increasingly difficult task for the visitors. Bartram down the Danish left hand side gets past both Papadopoulos and Apostolakis time and again, and from his advanced midfield role Michael Laudrup is able to dictate the pace, and also combine well with the two front runners. And in Jensen the home side have the player who takes no prisoners in challenges, and behind him there’s also the clever head of soon 40 year old Morten Olsen. The Greeks are going nowhere, and to add to the threat from the Danish right hand side from B Laudrup, there’s also Sivebæk, who is beginning to show some promise after a bit of a slow start in which he had rarely joined in going forward. The Greek central defenders are strong in the air, but both Mavridis and Manolas seem to struggle a bit when the home side switch on the pace. Both Michael Laudrup and Povlsen threaten to break through with B Laudrup the creative force, but from the first opportunity Manolas can clear it away for a corner before the Juventus playmaker can round Oikonomopoulos, and Povlsen’s shot when bursting through from the left of the penalty area goes wide of the goalkeeper’s post. They are getting closer, the Danish.
Greece are tough-tackling when the pace is low enough for them to come close to their opponents. The home side know they have to keep the ball moving swiftly between their players, and they do, so often instigated by the elegant M Laudrup. He does find a lot of space as he plays in a position which is difficult to single out for individual attention from the visitors’ point of view. And it is not only with his younger brother, but also with Povlsen that he combines well. However, the opening goal is the work of the two centre forwards: Brian Laudrup wins the ball from Khatziathanasiou well inside his own half, with Jensen also putting pressure on the Greek left back, plays Povlsen in down the right hand channel, and his pass inside finds B Laudrup again, who’s made a long run deep into the visitors’ penalty area. Manolas, who has earlier been booked for a nasty challenge on the very same Laudrup brother, has a rush of blood to the head and sees the ball evade him to run through to the Danish #11, who hits a low shot with his left foot through the legs of Oikonomopoulos. They have their goal to challenge Romania for the top spot, but it is unlikely that Piontek wants his team to sit back and defend their slender advantage.
There is more of the same from the hosts: They continue to try and pull Greece apart. Yet the visitors will have their best spell, if one is entitled to call a period of perhaps one minute that, when Sivebæk is receiving treatment on the sidelines, with Jensen temporarily deputising in the right back position, a job which he does well as Manolas plays a smart ball through the centre for Papadopoulos. The right sided midfielder finds himself almost one on one with Schmeichel until Jensen intercepts and can tackle the ball into the path of team mate Lars Olsen, who will extend it out for a Greek corner. This is the first clear threat to the Danish goal, yet the home side appear not to take it seriously, as they continue to overload the Greek half. It might be the result of having thrown too many men forward that Denmark let the visitors equalize: Schmeichel quickly re-starts play after catching the ball inside his area, as he so often wants to do, but Manolas can tackle B Laudrup, and the ball breaks for Mavridis, who decides to carry the ball towards the Danish penalty area. He plays a short ball for Saravakos, who in turn tries to find Samaras on the edge of the area, but Nielsen gets in the way, which is a lucky ricochet for Mavridis, who has continued his run into the area. All he has to do is side-foot the ball to guide it beyond Schmeichel for 1-1. Hardly what the Greeks deserve, but the Danish get punished for some sloppy play and lack of concentration.
The game is only tied for about two minutes as Denmark go back in front: A long diagonal punt up field by the left foot of Nielsen finds the head of Vilfort on the edge of the area, who beats Khatziathanasiou in the air. Povlsen picks up the ball and delievers a telling cross for Bartram to hit home despite not connecting cleanly with his left foot. The ball goes in just inside of the left hand post, with Oikonomopoulos beaten. A goal only minutes from the break could prove to be the perfect tonic ahead of the second half, in which the Greeks would have to come out of their own half in search for a second goal.
For the start of the second half, Giorgiadis has made one change for the Greek visitors: right back Apostolakis has been replaced by midfielder Savvidis, who had performed well in their 0-0 home match against Romania. Not only did it mean a change in personnel, but also a switch in formation: Greece reverted from their 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, with Papadopoulos taking the right wing back slot, and Tsaloukhidis moving back into central defence alongside Mavridis (deep) and Manolas (right). Mitropoulos went into the midfield anchor role, as he had been overrun in the first half in his central position. Giorgiadis wanted more mobile players in Tsiantakis and Savvidis for the central midfield berths.
23 seconds after the re-start, Denmark had their first pop on goal when M Olsen played Povlsen in behind Papadopoulos and for him to run into the Greek penalty area, only to fire over from too much of an angle. The Greeks were seemingly doing ok by the time Mitropoulos had to throw in the towel. Five minutes into the second half the away captain had to go off with a slight limp and be replaced by central defender Kallitzakis, which meant Tsaloukhidis would go back into his original position as the holding man in midfield, and with Kallitzakis operating to the left of the three man central defence. Surely, all these switches were not ideal for the visitors, as if Denmark weren’t causing them enough trouble already. But it would get worse: Shortly after the introduction of Kalitzakis, Manolas decides to obstruct Povlsen rather unnecessarily just to the right of his own penalty area. The Danish forward had been coming forward at pace, and goes to the ground rather dramatically, prompting a red card from the English referee. The Greek centre back had to walk after his second bookable offence, despite the efforts from team mate Papadopoulos to try and refrain Mr Hackett from producing the red card. The subsequent free-kick found its way from Bartram’s boot onto the head of big Nielsen, who had no problems leaping over a passive Tsaloukhidis to score the home side’s third. And merely a minute later it was 4-1: Bartram again buccaneered down the left, Papadopoulos was nowhere to be seen, and the ball made its way to Povlsen’s head. Oikonomopoulos was left with no chance. It was a first ten minutes of the second period that the visitors could only have feared in their worst nightmares. They were not just all of a sudden three goals down, but they also found themselves a man short. With 35 minutes left for play against a rampant home side, surely damage limitation was the only way forward for the visitors?
Denmark are relentless by now. They smell blood, and they look like scoring every time they get into the Greek penalty area. However, in between their waves of attack, they rest sensibly, even allowing the 10 men visitors time on the ball inside their half. Greece will often hit it forward for Samaras to try and bring team mates into play, and he does well, the big striker, even if he has some really rugged Danish defenders to work against. Saravakos, who has taken over the captain’s armband following Mitropoulos’ withdrawal, is having a disappointing performance. He had done well against Romania in the last outing, but on foreign soil he is almost like fish on dry land. He will not even deliever good set-pieces. Denmark easily defend what little comes in the direction of Schmeichel’s goal throughout the second half, and their more defensive players take turns in going forward: Lars Olsen is not afraid to cross the halfway line, Morten Olsen likewise. Even John Larsen, the quiet centre back, is seen trotting forward at one point. Only Kent Nielsen remains at the back unless there’s a dead ball situation at the other end. Vilfort, who had stepped in for Sivebæk 30 minutes into the first half, is a non-stop runner down the right hand corridor, and with Bartram very much the same threat opposite, Greece simply do not have enough resistance about them to keep the Danish away. This is total football that the Dutch in their prime would have been proud of, even if the opposition admittedly is poor.
60′: Povlsen is played through by B Laudrup and can only finish into Ikonomopoulos’ leg when one on one with the goalkeeper. Kallitzakis tries to head the rebound into safety, but it only goes as far as to M Laudrup, who is off balance and can only sky his effort over
61′: Bartram has a go with his trusted left foot from 18 yards after Vilfort and M Laudrup combine in seeing the ball into the wide left player’s range. His shot goes well over
67′: M Laudrup gets to the byline to the left of the Greek goal, tries to score from an angle, but it is cleared away by Kallitzakis. Originally, B Laudrup had been behind the break, but he seemed to dwell too long before playing in his brother, who had seemed to be in a better position a few seconds earlier. It was the excellent close control of M Laudrup that saw him take the ball past Kallitzakis’ lounge and through to the byline
68′: B Laudrup takes a dramatic tumble inside the Greek penalty area after Kallitzakis’ tackle, but the Danish forward probably made it look worse than it was. No penalty, rightly so
69′: It is Povlsen’s turn to get to the byline from the left hand side, and his cross finds Vilfort, whose header via the ground is desperately palmed away by Oikonomopoulos, who certainly is earning his wages this evening
70′: Povlsen is one on one with Oikonomopoulos, but can only place his chipped right-footed effort agonisingly wide of the right hand post when he really should have scored. And he knows it
72′: M Laudrup comes too far to the right of goal as he bursts into the visitors’ penalty area having escaped a weak offside trap, and having been played in by Vilfort. Oikonomopoulos parries his shot away for another corner kick.
It is clear that the Greek resistance will be breached again. To their credit, the visitors do not park the bus inside the Danish half. In their naivity, they continue to try and be creative inside the Danish half, and seem oblivious to the quick Danish counters. Papadopoulos demonstrates to everyone that he will never be a full-back of international stature, as anyone who has a go down his side will make it to the byline. Unless Apostolakis had been forced to go off with an injury, the half time change that saw the Greek number 2 withdrawn (for Savvidis) was a strange one.
5-1 comes from one of the countless Danish set-pieces: Bartram again delievers a right wing corner to perfection, and Vilfort has an easy task in outjumping Mavridis to guide the ball into the net. Despite being four goals to the good, the scoreline still flatters the visitors. Had the home side been alert, they would have been even a further couple of goals ahead already. In the wake of 5-1, Piontek makes his second and final substitution as Henrik Andersen replaces Bartram, who is easily man of the match after his goal and three assists. The sub will not need more than 20 seconds on the pitch before he darts to the byline and whips a cross in, so there is no immediate respite for Greece despite Piontek having taken Bartram off. There will be two further home goals added:
6-1 – M Laudrup plays in sub Andersen, whose low shot from the edge of the six yard area is too hard for Oikonomopoulos to deal with
7-1 – M Laudrup’s penalty in injury time. One of the evening’s giants finally has his name on the score sheet after the hapless Papadopoulos brings down Povlsen deep inside his own area
Khatziathanasiou’s late booking came as he kicked the ball high into the air in frustration right in front of referee Hackett, as the Englishman awarded the home side a throw-in which the Greek left-back felt should have been awarded him.
A win by a six goal margin means Denmark now have a stronger goal difference than Romania, who had beaten Bulgaria by the only goal of the game in Bucharest. However, tellingly, they are still a point adrift before their double header late in the autumn. Despite only embarking on their landslide win-margin performance after Manolas’ sending off, there was no way Greece would have returned home with anything to show for even if they had played the game out with 11 men. The home side were full of running and energy, and Greece never had an answer to this vitality. The lack of pace at the back was another bad point for the Greeks, who would also regret seeing Papadopoulos, the midfielder, play the entire second half as a right sided defender. For the home side, there were a lot of fine performances, but no one more so than wide left player Bartram, who had a hand in four of the goals before being taken off immediately after his assist for Vilfort’s 5-1 header. Seven different players came on the score sheet for the home team.
1 Schmeichel 7.4
doesn’t have an awful lot to do, but is so assured whenever he comes out to collect the ball, he sweeps well, and he is such an asset with his precise, long throws to instigate quick breaks. Ironically, the Greek goal comes after his throw is intercepted in midfield, but he’s also behind the fourth as he catches Tsiantakis’ probing cross towards Saravakos and releases Povlsen
2 Sivebæk 6.7
only lasted half an hour due to injury. Started cautiously, but came more to the fore as the half went on. Was beginning to come well into his stride by the time the injury occured
(14 Vilfort 7.3
for someone out of position he does extraordinarily well: helps set up 2-1, scores the fifth, and could also have had another but for a fine save by Ikonomopoulos. Strong running down his side non-stop, never properly threatened defensively)
3 K Nielsen 7.1
often seen in combat with Samaras, and it is a hefty duel. Nielsen’s usually the winner in the air. And he also nets the 3-1 goal with a set-piece header
4 L Olsen 7.0
relatively unbothered defensively, which allowed him to participate in attack with great frequency. Had a fine chip over Ikonomopoulos saved on the goal line by Mavridis
5 Larsen 6.9
looks after Saravakos, which on the night is not a great ask
6 Bartram 8.5
a first half goal and three second half assists. In open play, he was a greater threat during the opening 45, but to have such a gifted left foot in the side hugely benefits the Danish. Very strong runs causing Greek right back Apostolakis big problems in the first half. Taken off to a well deserved standing ovation
(12 Andersen –
pushes higher up the field than Bartram had been doing in the second half, and is an immediate threat to the Greek defence. Has time to score when he takes M Laudrup’s fine pass inside the area)
7 M Olsen 6.9
does the tidying-up job reliably and without any fuss
8 Jensen 8.1
a wonderful midfield performance by the powerhouse, who has a lot of interceptions, and who even turns creator of opportunities on several occasions. One of his best international matches for sure. Never gave the Greeks time on the ball
9 Povlsen 8.0
strong with a lot of direct runs, causes the Greek backline all sorts of problems. Should have scored more than his solitary headed goal. Won the penalty at the death
10 M Laudrup 8.3
got his deserved goal with that penalty in injury time, which capped a magnificent roaming midfield performance in which he time and again played team mates in with exquisite passes. Impossible to mark out of the game, quick and precise in his movements. His best match of the qualifiers yet without a shadow of a doubt
11 B Laudrup 7.6
also brought the luckless Greek defence to despair with his darting runs and low point of gravity, but could on a couple of occasions have released the ball earlier, which twice ruined opportunities which could have come his older brother’s way. Tackled hard a couple of times, unfazed. Perhaps a tad fortunate as his goal went through the goalkeeper’s legs
1 Oikonomopoulos 6.8
there was little he could do with either goal, perhaps with the exception of Vilfort’s fifth, but he probably saw all the traffic in front and decided to remain on his goal line rather than try and come for the ball. Not always assured when dealing with crosses
2 Apostolakis 6.3
not a particularly convincing half, as he struggled with Bartram’s power defensively, and rarely contributed going forward. Had a tame left-footed pop at goal that never threatened Schmeichel. In slight discomfort in the final few minutes? Taken off at h-t
(16 Savvidis 6.3
not an easy game to enter, made even worse after Manolas’ sending off. Never got hold of things in the centre of the pitch, and was often run rings around. Had an attempt at goal where he scuffed his volley well over when in a good position)
3 Khatziathanasiou 6.8
showed his usual level of aggression throughout, and also did well against some of the quicker opponents. Not a bad game, and had a second half pop with his right foot which was not too far away
4 Manolas 6.2
likes a physical battle, but often did not come close enough to his opponents to exert his expertise. He did twice and was booked and sent off respectively. Should have kept his head cool rather than getting his team mates in such trouble by risking a sending off, despite it perhaps being a slightly harsh decision by the ref
5 Mavridis 6.4
is also strong and capable on the ball, but too often exposed without much assistance in the centre of the pitch, and looked at times a bewildered figure. A couple of good bursts forward, the second which resulted in a nice goal
6 Tsaloukhidis 6.3
also not very efficient as the pace was too much for him. Is another performer who likes to use his body in checking opponents, but rarely got tight enough to perform them
7 Saravakos 6.1
showed a couple of runs of promise during the first half, but was easily brushed off the ball, and was never anywhere near a threat to the Danish defence, who dealt with him all too easily, predominantly through Larsen. Should have showed greater leader abilities when he took over the captain’s armband from the substituted Mitropoulos
8 Papadopoulos 5.7
as woeful a second half performance as will be seen at international level, where his positioning and tactical awareness left everything to be desired. Had a better first half in midfield, but those final 45 left a bad taste
9 Samaras 6.7
too isolated, but never quits trying. Receives preciously little help from his forward partner. Often found out in the air by big Nielsen, but has a couple of attempts along the ground which are not too far off
10 Mitropoulos 6.1
definitely not his game. Looked off the pace, static and possibly unfit. Attempted a few long balls towards the strikers, very few reached either of them. Often desperately outnumbered by the opponents
(13 Kallitzakis 6.3
leaves an erratic impression, never seems assured, and does not help install confidence in his defensive colleagues. Alright in the air, but not often challenged for high balls for him to prove his aerial worth)
11 Tsiantakis 6.4
rather fleet-footed. Seemed to enjoy life in a more central capacity in the second half, and probably the least inferior of the midfielders. Little end product, and not much of a threat out wide during the opening 45