Greece – Qualification for Italia ’90

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Preview

Greece were the lowest ranked team (4th) in qualification Group 1 for the 1990 World Cup, but still enjoyed a quite decent campaign for the latest Euros, where they had finished ahead of Hungary and Poland, only second to Netherlands. No need to dismiss the Greeks before the qualifiers.

Miltos Papapostolou had now been manager for the national team since 7 March 1984, and was about to guide the Greeks in his third consecutive qualification campaign. In his fifth year at the helm, he had already surpassed Alketas Panagoulias as the longest serving manager for the national team (a record now belonging to Otto Rehhagel).

Results 

Friendly
31.08.1988 East Germany 1-0 Greece
Line-up: Talikriadis – Georgamlis, Mavridis, Tsaloukhidis, Kolomitrousis – Kanaras, Bonovas, Mitropoulos (Karapialis 81), Kofidis – Saravakos, Anastopoulos (c) (Dimitriadis 83)

Friendly
21.09.1988 Turkey 3-1 Greece
Goal: Anastopoulos
Line-up: Sarganis (Talikriadis h-t) – Khatziathanasiou, Mavridis, Manolas, Kolomitrousis – Skartados, Tsaloukhidis, Mitropoulos (Mikhos 73), Nioplias (Tsiolis 73) – Saravakos, Anastopoulos (c)

Qualifier 1
19.10.1988 Greece 1-1 Denmark
Goal: Mitropoulos
Line-up (5-3-2): Talikriadis – Khatziathanasiou, Manolas, Mavridis, Tsaloukhidis, Kolomitrousis – Mitropoulos (Georgamlis 60), Skartados (Karapialis 76), Bonovas – Saravakos, Anastopoulos (c)
A battling display ensured that the hosts left the field of play with a deserved point. They had gone in front through a fine headed goal by midfield man Mitropoulos before the break, but they conceded possession in the second half as the visitors fought their way back into the game

Qualifier 2
02.11.1988 Romania 3-0 Greece
Line-up: Talikriadis – Khatziathanasiou, Mavridis, Manolas, Kolomitrousis – Bonovas, Tsaloukhidis, Mitropoulos (Koutoulas h-t), Tsiantakis (Nioplias 68) – Saravakos, Anastopoulos (c)

Friendly
15.11.1988 Greece 3-0 Hungary
Goals: Lagonidis, Tsaloukhidis (2)
Line-up: Gitsioudis (Oikonomopoulos 78) – Khatziathanasiou, Koutoulas, Vakalopoulos, Kolomitrousis – Lagonidis (G Papadopoulos 82), Tsaloukhidis (c), Nioplias, Tsiantakis (Bonovas 82) – Borbokis (Dimitriadis 82), Karasavvidis (Kavouras 74)
This was Alekos Sofianidis’ first match in charge. In an inexperienced line-up, only defenders Kolomitrousis and Tsaloukhidis, as well as midfielder Bonovas, were in double appearance figures. The game also saw the debut of no less than four Greek players, albeit only Iraklis midfielder Giorgos Papadopoulos would feature during the qualification for Italia ’90

Friendly
18.01.1989 Albania 1-1 Greece
Goal: Tsiantakis
Line-up: Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Mavridis, Koutoulas (G Papadopoulos 53), Khatziathanasiou – Lagonidis (Kavouras 57), Tsaloukhidis (c), Nioplias, Tsiantakis (Oikonomidis 87) – Borbokis, Karasavvidis (Kalogeropoulos 69)
Defenders Mavridis and Apostolakis were the most experienced this time around, and Tsaloukhidis featured as captain. There had been two further debutants, neither of whom would be featuring in the qualification. Olympiakos midfielder Tsiantakis got his first international goal

Friendly
25.01.1989 Greece 1-2 Portugal
Goal: Borbokis
Line-up (4-4-2): Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Mavridis (c) (Vakalopoulos h-t), Manolas (Koutoulas h-t), Khatziathanasiou – Tsiantakis, Tsaloukhidis (Maragkos 78), Nioplias, Borbokis – Kalogeropoulos (Kavouras 74), Samaras
Greece were fortunate to escape with a single-goal defeat, as they were inferior to their opponents for large chunks of the game. There were several big goalscoring opportunities for the Portuguese, who came across an inspired Oikonomopoulos. However, a few of his team mates were at the other end of the scale, and underperforming at this level should cost you. Tsiantakis came out of the game with some credibility.

Friendly
08.02.1989 Greece 1-2 England
Goal: Saravakos (pen.)
Line-up (4-4-2): Oikonomopoulos – Khatziathanasiou (Manolas 72), Mavridis, Kallitzakis, Koutoulas – Lagonidis (Borbokis 39), Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias, Tsiantakis – Saravakos (c), Samaras (Kalogeropoulos h-t)
Saravakos was back in the side, and it was his goal from the spot that gave the Greeks 1-0 in the first minute. The visitors had arrived with a more or less full strength team, and would turn the game around. Ikonomopoulos was about to establish himself as first choice goalkeeper

Friendly
22.02.1989 Greece 4-2 Norway
Goals: Samaras, Vakalopoulos, Tsaloukhidis, Saravakos
Line-up (4-4-2): Gitsioudis – Apostolakis, Koutoulas (Vakalopoulos 55), Kallitzakis, Khatziathanasiou – Oikonomidis, Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias (Kavouras 59), Maragkos – Saravakos (c), Samaras
There was a paltry 994 spectators for this one. Forwards Samaras and Saravakos got a goal each, and there was another apiece for defensive players Tsaloukhidis and Vakalopoulos. Panathinaikos full-back Khatziathanasiou was well established in the team by now. Sofianidis tested a few players, but few staked positive claims.

Friendly
08.03.1989 Greece 3-2 East Germany
Goals: Saravakos 2, Wahl (own goal)
Line-up (4-4-2): Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Manolas (Koutoulas h-t (Vakalopoulos 80)), Kallitzakis, Khatziathanasiou – Bonovas, Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias, Tsiantakis (Maragkos 87) – Saravakos (c), Kavouras (Borbokis 82)
Yet again an appalling attendance figure: 933 had paid to watch! Saravakos scored twice, and there was an East German own goal as well. The experienced Manolas was back in the team

Friendly
29.03.1989 Greece 0-1 Turkey
Line-up (4-4-2): Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Mavridis, Kallitzakis, Khatziathanasiou – Bonovas (Georgakopoulos 52), Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias (Tountziaris 52), Tsiantakis (Borbokis 79) – Saravakos (c), Samaras
This was a fifth successive defeat against Greece’ arch rivals in what was only their fifth ever meeting. At least more than 4000 came to watch, but the national team holds scant appeal to the people. There were a couple of further debuts, though neither would be featuring during the qualification. The match was also Sofianidis’ last in charge

Friendly
05.04.1989 Greece 1-4 Yugoslavia
Goal: Mitropoulos
Line-up (4-5-1): Oikonomopoulos (Sarganis h-t) – Apostolakis, Mavridis (Koutoulas h-t), Kallitzakis, Khatziathanasiou – Borbokis, Mitropoulos (c), Tsaloukhidis, Georgakopoulos (Savvidis 62), Tsiantakis – Samaras (Vakalopoulos h-t)
In Georgiadis’ first match in charge, Greece lost heavily to a solid opponent. Midfielder Mitropoulos played in his first international since the 3-0 defeat in Romania, and won his 60th cap. He also got the Greek equalizer for 1-1. Tsaloukhidis had been Georgiadis’ first captain. Conceded three late goals.

Report – Summary of winter and spring friendlies

Qualifier 3
26.04.1989 Greece 0-0 Romania
Line-up (4-5-1): Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Mavridis, Manolas, Khatziathanasiou – Saravakos (c), G Papadopoulos (Bonovas 66), Tsaloukhidis, Savvidis, Tsiantakis – Samaras
Despite being on the back foot for an hour, Greece managed to salvage a point. There was a great improvement for the final half hour, when the home side had even threatened to score the winning goal. Midfielder Savvidis had his first taste of qualifying action to replace his suspended Olympiakos team mate Mitropoulos

Qualifier 4
17.05.1989 Denmark 7-1 Greece
Goal: Mavridis
Line-up (4-4-2): Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis (Savvidis h-t), Mavridis, Manolas, Khatziathanasiou – G Papadopoulos, Tsaloukhidis, Mitropoulos (c) (Kallitzakis 50), Tsiantakis – Saravakos, Samaras
Georgiadis had picked some tough tackling tactics, and this would eventually seal their fate, as Manolas saw his second yellow at 2-1 down early in the second half. The Greek more or less gave up as the goals kept coming, but they were up against quality opposition, so even at full strength they would not have returned with much

Friendly
23.08.1989 Norway 0-0 Greece
Line-up: Oikonomopoulos – Apostolakis, Mavridis, Manolas, Khatziathanasiou – Bonovas, Tsaloukhidis, Savvidis (Stamatis 86), Kofidis (Tsiantakis 86) – Saravakos (c), Samaras (Dimopoulos 72)

Friendly
05.09.1989 Poland 3-0 Greece
Line-up: Oikonomopoulos (Plitsis h-t) – Agoroyiannis, Kallitzakis, Apostolakis (c), Khatziathanasiou (Alexiou h-t) – Mitsibonas, Tsaloukhidis (Karageorgiou h-t), Savvidis, Kofidis (Maragkos h-t) – Saravakos (Dimitriadis h-t), Dimopoulos

Friendly
20.09.1989 Yugoslavia 3-0 Greece
Line-up (4-4-2): Plitsis – Agoroyiannis (Alexiou h-t), Mavridis, Vakalopoulos, Apostolakis – Stamatis, Mitsibonas, Savvidis (Karageorgiou 18), Kofidis (Adamopoulos 65) – Saravakos (c), Maragkos
Greece fell two goals behind quickly, and honestly, they were never in with a chance against a far superior Yugoslavia, who drifted in and out of the game, something which was to the Greek’s rescue. Otherwise, the victory of margin could’ve been greater, even if Saravakos (twice) and Kofidis had first half opportunities. The second half saw little pace and not a whole lot of quality, but Greece conceded again ten minutes from time. Apostolakis should’ve walked for trying to trip the referee over after Yugoslavia had been awarded a penalty late in the first half (which they missed).

Qualifier 5
11.10.1989 Bulgaria 4-0 Greece
Line-up (4-4-2): Plitsis – Khatziathanasiou, Mavridis, Vakalopoulos, Koutoulas – Tsiantakis, Papaiouannou, Stamatis (Nioplias 69), Kofidis – Saravakos (c), Dimitriadis
In a somewhat ill-tempered match played in horrible conditions on a dreadfully heavy pitch, Greece suffer four goals in the final 20 minutes to lose heavily on the road yet again. There’s little credit to take back to Greece after having three players sent off in the second half, even if the inconsistent referee hardly helps proceedings. These wholesale changes had brought little fortune. Now Greece were favourites to finish bottom of the group.

Friendly
25.10.1989 Hungary 1-1 Greece
Goal: Borbokis
Line-up: T Papadopoulos (c) – Karageorgiou, Khatzimoysiadis, Deliyiannis, Moustakidis – Vouturitsas (Vlahos 89), D Papadopoulos, Nioplias, Maragkos (Tsifoutis 86) – Borbokis, Dimitriadis (Zakkas h-t)

Qualifier 6
15.11.1989 Greece 1-0 Bulgaria
Goal: Nioplias
Line-up: T Papadopoulos – Karageorgiou, Manolas, Deliyiannis, Moustakidis – Vouturitsas, D Papadopoulos (Alexiou 76), Nioplias, Maragkos – Borbokis, Samaras (Stamatis 29)

48 players appeared in Greece’ 15 internationals during the calendar year of 1989

Conclusion

Final position: 3 (out of 4)
Total record: 6 1 2 3 3-15 4
Home record: 3 1 2 0 2-1 4
Away record: 3 0 0 3 1-14 0

Player statistics

Number of players used: 37
Number of players including unused substitutes: 44
Ever-presents (540 mins): 0
Leading goalscorer: Mitropoulos, Mavridis and Nioplias (all with one goal each)
Yellow/red cards: 13/4

– overview

NameAppsStartSubUnSubMinsGlsY/R
Mavridis, Konstantinos554501
Khatziathanasiou, Iakovas554423/1
Saravakos, Dimitris554320/1
Manolas, Stelios554141/1
Tsaloukhidis, Panagiotis443601/0
Tsiantakis, Nikolaos44338
Papadopoulos, Giorgos221561/0
Samaras, Giannis33209
Bonovas, Andreas3211204
Anastopoulos, Nikos221801/0
Oikonomopoulos, Spyros22180
Kolomitrousos, Konstantinos22180
Talikriadis, Elias22180
Mitropoulos, Anastasios3315512/0
Apostolakis, Stratos221351/0
Koutoulas, Giorgos211135
Stamatis, Stavros211130
Nioplias, Nikolaos31211331
Dimitriadis, Vasilis11290
Kofidis, Savvas1190
Papadopoulos, Theologis11190
Plitsis, Giorgos11390
Savvidis, Elias2111135
Karageorgiou, Nikolaos1190
Moustakidis, Babis11901/0
Deliyiannis, Thomas1190
Borbokis, Stefanos1190
Vouturitsas, Theodoros1190
Maragkos, Spyros1190
Papaioannou, Pavlos11901/0
Skartados, Giorgos1176
Vakalopoulos, Pagonis11520/1
Kallitzakis, Giannis1140
Georgamlis, Lissandros111301/0
Agorogiannis, Giorgos1
Alexiou, Alexis11114
Karapialis, Vasilis1114
Papadopoulos, Daniil1176
Dimopoulos, Thanasis2
Galitsios, Giannis1
Gitsioudis, Giannis1
Mikhos, Petros1
Sarganis, Nikolaos1
Zakas, Theodoros1

– game by game

PlayerDen (h)Rom (a)Rom (h) Den (a)Bul (a) Bul (h) AppsMins
Talikriadis90902180
Khatziathanasiou9090909082 (s.o.)5442
Manolas90909054 (s.o.)905414
Mavridis90909090905450
Tsaloukhidis909090904360
Kolomitrousis90902180
Skartados 76176
Mitropoulos6045503155
Bonovas909024R2+1204
Saravakos9090909072 (s.o.)5432
Anastopoulos90902180
Georgamlis30R+130
Karapialis14+114
SarganisR
MikhosR
DimitriadisRR90190
Tsiantakis699090904339
Koutoulas45901+1135
Nioplias21R21901+2132
GitsioudisR
Oikonomopoulos90902180
Apostolakis90452135
G Papadopoulos66902156
Savvidis9045R1+1135
Samaras9090293209
PlitsisRR90R190
DimopoulosRR
GalitsiosR
Kallitzakis40+140
Vakalopoulos52 (s.o.)152
Papaiouannou90190
Stamatis69611+1130
Kofidis90190
T PapadopoulosR90190
AgorogiannisR
AlexiouR14+114
D PapadopoulosR76176
Karageorgiou90190
Deliyiannis90190
Moustakidis90190
Vouturitsas90190
Maragkos90190
Borbokis90190
ZakkasR

– ratings

Post-qualification

Friendly
17.01.1990 Greece 2-0 Belgium
Goals: Tsaloukhidis, Apostolakis
Line-up: Sarganis – Apostolakis, Manolas, Kallitzakis, Leontiadis (Koutoulas h-t) – Maragkos (Karataidis 80), Tsaloukhidis, Stamatis (Tsifoutis 76), Tsiantakis – Saravakos (c), Borbokis

Friendly
28.03.1990 Greece 2-1 Israel
Goals: Manolas 2
Line-up: Plitsis – Apostolakis (Karageorgiou 61), Manolas, Kallitzakis, Karataidis (Koutoulas 61) – Maragkos (Kourbanas 79), Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias (Tsekos 70), Tsiantakis – Saravakos (c) (Zakkas 61), Borbokis (Samaras 61)

Friendly
30.05.1990 Italy 0-0 Greece
Line-up: T Papadopoulos – Apostolakis, Manolas, Kallitzakis, G Papadopoulos – Maragkos (Kofidis 77), Tsaloukhidis, Nioplias, Toursounidis (Tsiantakis 59) – Saravakos (c), Borbokis (Samaras 71)