The outcome of the friendly match between the teams of Greece and Paraguay played in Switzerland as a part of the both teams’ preparation for the World Cup in South Africa is 0:2 and a serious doubt in the abilities of the Greek national team.
Despite Otto Rehhagel’s persuasion that he will make the Greeks proud once again ten days before the nationals meet their first rivals the result brings other thoughts to mind. It is true that Greek is not Brazil as Otto often says lately, but it is not the team we used to know from the European Championship in 2004. The white-and-blues just showed that they are not prepared as was the case during the game with North Corea…
It was obvious that it was difficult for Greek players to find their rhythm. Unfortunately, this didn’t change till the end of the first half-time. The problems connected with the defence were apparent too. At times, some areas remained with no players at all. This uncoordinated and loose game namely allowed the other team to win its second goal. The player Barrios scored the goal from Riveros and Santa Cruz in the 25th minute. The goal keeper Dzorvas saved the ball for a moment, but then the strong shot of Barrios played its role…
Minutes after the second goal the Greek team perked up somehow. The players started a more active and offensive game. Then Salpingidis scored a goal in the 31st minute but unfortunately the Greece was out of luck and the goal was cancelled ad off-site. The next missed chances for goal follow. In the 34th minute the player Ninis had the chance to score but he didn’t manage to beat the Paraguayan player Villar… There was a very good shot for Dziolis in the 38th minute but it wasn’t successful either. The ball was out.
After the first half-time there were changes in the Greek team. Karagounis took the place of Ninis already in the beginning. Haristeas took the place of Salpingidis and Kyriakos was replaced by Vintara. The next chance of the whitе-and-blues to score a goal was in the 49th minute. Unfortunately, Villar was provident and saved the ball of Torosidis.
At the end of the second half-time Rehhagel made the next changes. Knee trauma forced Katsouranis to leave the playground. Patsadzoglou replaced him. Then Spiropulos replaced Kapetanos. Instead the expected changes the game became still slower. Thus the Greek team couldn’t make up for the loss although it played a lot better in the second half-time.
Greece: Dzorvas, Seitaridis, Torosidis, Papadopoulos, Kyriakos, Vintra, Dziolis, Katsouranis, Patsatzoglou, Ninis, Karagounis, Samaras, Salpingidis, Haristeas, Kapetanos, Spiropulos.
Paraguay: Villar, Veron, Santana, Morel, Caniza, Bonet, Edgar Barreto, Santa Cruz, Vera, Alcazar, da Silva, Victor Caceres, Riveros, Ortigoza, Torres, Barrios, Benitez