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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 June, 2004, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Portugal 1-2 Greece

Greece goalscorer Georgios Karagounis
Portugal made a nightmare start to their Euro 2004 campaign, suffering a shock defeat to unfancied Greece.

Greece stunned the Portuguese fans after six minutes when Georgios Karagounis pounced on a Paulo Ferreira mistake and unleashed a 25-yard strike.

Angelos Basinas converted a penalty just after half-time to make it 2-0 following Cristiano Ronaldo's clumsy foul on Giourkas Seitaridis.

Ronaldo headed home late on but it was merely a consolation for the hosts.

Thousands of expectant home fans packed into Porto's Estadio do Dragao, but their team appeared hamstrung by opening-day nerves.

We didn't deserve to lose - Greece had two chances and scored both times
Portugal midfielder Luis Figo
Having qualified as hosts, Portugal were playing their first competitive match since losing to South Korea in the World Cup group stages two years ago.

That, as well as the pressure of a nation's hopes, clearly showed as Portugal struggled initially.

Greece carved out the first clearcut chance after just a minute, Angelos Charisteas failing to reach a Zisis Vryzas cross from eight yards.

And only six minutes later, the home fans were stunned when Greece opened the scoring.

Chelsea transfer target Ferreira gave the ball away to Karagounis who was allowed a free run on goal before he despatched a sweet strike into the bottom left-hand corner.

7 mins: Karagounis fires Greece into a shock lead
26 mins: Rui Costa misses a free header for Portugal
51 mins: Greece double their lead through Basinas' penalty
93 mins: Ronaldo fires home a late consolation

With Vyrsas causing panic in the Portugal defence, and the hosts' keeper Ricardo looking decidedly jittery, Greece might have extended their lead.

Charisteas sliced his shot after being put through by another defensive mistake by Portugal, and Panagiotis Fyssas saw his volley fly well over the bar.

Portugal finally began to find their feet and Rui Costa should have been celebrating the equaliser but after Ferreira found him unmarked in the box, the AC Milan midfielder could only direct his header tamely wide.

Portugal continued to have more of the ball but were let down by a lack of urgency in the final third of the pitch.

We've achieved something totally unknown to us
Greece goalscorer Georgios Karagounis

Greek keeper Antonios Nikopolidis bravely dived at Sabrosa Simao's feet as the midfielder looked to apply the finishing touch after turning his marker just after the half hour.

Portugal boss Luis Felipe Scolari responded to a lacklustre first half by replacing Simao and the ineffectual Rui Costa with Deco and Ronaldo.

But matters only got worse for the hosts.

Ronaldo made a clumsy challenge on Seitaridis and Basinas confidently stroked the resulting penalty into the top right-hand corner.

Even two goals behind, Portugal's lone striker Pauleta remained isolated up front and Greece's defence had a relatively easy task.

With 12 minutes remaining, Deco might have put Greece under pressure but after shaking off his marker, he sent a powerful strike high and wide.

Ronaldo converted a Figo cross in injury-time but it was too late to save his side and Portugal left the pitch with their championship hopes in the balance after only one game.

Portugal: Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira, Andrade, Couto, Rui Jorge, Costinha (Nuno Gomes 65), Maniche, Figo, Rui Costa (Deco 45), Simao (Ronaldo 45), Pauleta.
Subs Not Used: Quim, Moreira, Petit, Miguel, Nuno Valente, Ricardo Carvalho, Tiago, Postiga.

Booked: Costinha, Pauleta.

Greece: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Dellas, Kapsis, Fissas, Giannakopoulos (Nikolaidis 68), Zagorakis, Basinas, Karagounis (Katsouranis 47), Vryzas, Charisteas (Papadopoulos 74).
Subs Not Used: Chalkias, Katergiannakis, Venetidis, Dabizas, Tsiartas, Kafes, Georgiadis, Goumas, Lakis.

Booked: Karagounis, Seitaridis.

Attendance: 48,761.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).

Category Portugal Greece
Total shots 19 8
Shots on target 5 4
Possession 63% 37%
Corners won 10 3
Fouls committed 20 23
Offsides 1 4
Bookings 2 2
Sent Off 0 0


  • The 2-0 victory for Greece marked their first ever win at a European Championship or World Cup in their seventh match. They had only scored once in their previous six matches in these major tournaments.
  • The late Portuguese goal ended a Greek streak of six consecutive clean sheets in competitive matches. The all-time European record is seven which they would have equalled.
  • The opening goal from Giorgios Karagounis was the 350th in the history of European Championship final tournaments.

    Links to more Euro 2004 stories



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