Hosting the game, Greece won against the Israeli team with 2:1 and became a front-runner in the second qualification group for the 2010 World Soccer Championship in South Africa. Over 25 thousand fans supported their team at the Iraklio stadium in Crete. The coach Otto Rehagel counted on a new game strategy as well as on a new player selection. The German avoided his 3-5-2 scheme and preferred playing 3-4-3. From the beginning he let in Panathinaikos’ center forward Salpingidis, who not only scored the first goal for Greece in the 32nd minute but was also a constant threat for the Israeli team. In the defense, Moras made his first appearance together with another new name in the team – Avraam Papadopoulos. Olympiakos’ back neutralized Ben Sahar and as a result made the game for the Israeli much harder.
In the 59th minute Golan shook the Greeks with his accurate kick and the score became 1:1. Only 8 minutes later, Samaras scored the second goal for Greece and formed the final score of 2:1. Right now, together with Switzerland, Greece is at the head of the second qualification group. Switzerland won against Moldova but FIFA expressed its fears that this game was probably prearranged. The next game of the Greeks is on September 5th against Switzerland.