Greece edges Bolivia 2-1 in World Cup prep

Jun 7, 2014 - 3:43 AM Panagiotis Kone ended Greece's nearly four-game goalless streak in the first half to help the European side beat Bolivia 2-1 in their last friendly before heading to Brazil for the World Cup.

Kone's goal in the 21st minute was Greece's first in 358 minutes since Konstantinos Mitroglou's score in a 1-1 draw against Romania in November.

Greece lost 2-0 to South Korea in March and drew 0-0 against Portugal and Nigeria in the past week.

Konstantinos Katsouranis added a 54th-minute second as the Greeks ended a four-game winless streak before a crowd of 11,024 at Red Bull Arena.

They last won in that November 3-1 triumph over Romania in a European qualifier.

"Normally, we score," Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos said through a translator.

"It's not a relief (to score). I would say we're satisfied because we capitalised on the opportunities that we made.

"Today we had the opportunities and we scored. The other games we had some opportunities, but unfortunately we didn't score."

Bolivia, who finished last in South American World Cup qualifying with Paraguay, extended their winless string to 11 matches.

Greece had the better of play early but was plagued by poor finishing. Theofanis Gekas had the most egregious miss in the 12th minute as Greece tried to capitalise on gaining midfield possession.

Georgios Samaras fed Gekas in the middle of the penalty area, and, unmarked, the 34-year-old striker spun and shot wide from seven yards.

Greece finally converted when Dimitrios Salpingdis chased a ball down on the left and was allowed to approach the penalty area unchallenged. He chipped a ball into the middle, where an unmarked Kone drove it into the right side of the net from 10 yards.

The Greeks added a second when Jose Holebas curled a corner kick to the near post, and Katsouranis headed it in.

"It was a mediocre performance from our perspective," Santos added.

"From a tactical standpoint, we let our opponent have too much possession of the ball."

Greece open their World Cup against Colombia on June 14, and then plays Japan and the Ivory Coast in Group C.

Source: AAP

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