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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 June, 2004, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Russia 2-1 Greece

Zisis Vryzas lifts the ball into the net to score the Greece goal which ensured their last eight place
Surprise package Greece scraped through to the last eight of Euro 2004 despite being beaten by Russia.

Greece needed just a point to progress but got off to the worst possible start when an error allowed Dmitri Kirichenko to steer a shot home after 68 seconds.

It was the quickest goal in the history of the competition, and Dmitri Bulykin then made it two with a bullet header.

But a chipped Zisis Vryzas goal for Greece meant they went through ahead of Group A rivals Spain on goals scored.

Greece made a nervous start to the match and they hardly had time to settle before Russia went ahead with the first attack.

We have made Greece not just the talk of Europe but also of the world
Greece midfielder Theo Zagorakis

Greek defender Costas Katsouranis failed to clear with a wild swing at the ball and Russia's Kirichenko pounced to poke home a powerful shot.

Russia had only pride to play for after losses to Spain and Portugal had ensured their elimination, but Georgy Yartsev's team showed a confidence and freedom they could have done with earlier in the competition.

And they stunned Greece by adding a second when Dmitri Bulykin charged to the near post and firmly headed a corner past keeper Antonis Nikopolidis.

Angelos Basinas forced a smart save from Russia keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev but the solidity and quality which had put Greece on the brink of qualification was nowhere to be seen.

KEY MOMENTS
2 mins: Kirichenko powers Russia ahead
18 mins: Bulykin heads Russia further ahead
44 mins: Vrysaz pulls one back for Greece

They should have gone three behind when left-footed Andrei Kariaka was allowed a clear shot on goal from 15 yards only to blaze over with his weaker right foot.

Almost immediately, Greek striker Angelos Charisteas side-footed comfortably high but his blushes were spared when his side pulled one back through Vryzas.

He held off a Russian defender before impressively chipping over the advancing Malafeev to score the goal which ultimately sent Greece through.

We didn't complete the main task and that was to qualify for the next round
Russia coach Georgy Yartsev

The second half did not start in such an open manner as an end-to-end first and Greece were more disciplined and determined after the break.

Sychev had a long-range shot saved by keeper Nikopolidis but Greece were more assured as they held Russia at bay.

Indeed, Greece almost levelled when a Vassilios Tsiartas well-struck and curling free-kick was excellently saved by the impressive Malafeev.

Kirichenko almost slid in to score for Russia but Greece held on to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history and set up a tie with the winner of Group B.


Russia: Malafeev, Aniukov, Sharonov (Sennikov 56), Bugaev, Evseev, Gusev, Radimov, Kariaka, Alenitchev, Bulykin (Sychev 45), Kirichenko.
Subs Not Used: Akinfeev, Semshov, Izmailov, Kerzhakov, Bystrov, Loskov, Aldonin.

Booked: Sharonov, Aniukov, Kariaka, Alenitchev, Radimov, Malafeev.

Greece: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Kapsis, Dellas, Venetidis (Fissas 89), Charisteas, Zagorakis, Basinas (Tsiartas 42), Papadopoulos (Nikolaidis 69), Katsouranis, Vryzas.
Subs Not Used: Chalkias, Katergiannakis, Dabizas, Giannakopoulos, Kafes, Georgiadis, Goumas, Lakis.

Booked: Vryzas, Dellas.

Attendance: 25,000

Referee: Gilles Veissiere (France).


OFFICIAL STATS BY UEFA
Category Russia Greece
Total shots 18 12
Shots on target 9 4
Possession 53% 47%
Corners won 5 8
Fouls committed 18 16
Offsides 1 5
Bookings 6 2
Sent Off 0 0



TRIVIA

  • This marks the first time Greece have survived the first round of a major tournament.
  • This defeat ends an eight match unbeaten sequence for Greece in competitive matches, one match short of the Greek record.
  • Russia have ended a record nine match winless streak in European Championship matches. Their previous last win dated back to 22 June 1988 when the Soviet Union beat Italy 2-0 in the semi-final of Euro 88.
  • Dmitri Kirichenko's opening goal after one minute and seven seconds was the fastest ever at a European Championship.





    Links to more Euro 2004 stories


     

  • SEE ALSO
    Spain 0-1 Portugal
    20 Jun 04 |  Euro 2004


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