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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 July, 2004, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Hansen: Dellas made the difference
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Traianos Dellas holds the European Championship trophy aloft
Dellas showed great composure, but more importantly, his defending and positional sense have been excellent

What a win for Greece - and what a triumph for defensive organisation.

The Greeks have looked unflappable throughout the tournament and they proved that again against Portugal.

People think it is easy to organise a defence, but it's not and what Greece did was to make sure they did not defend too deeply.

There was one example of Stelios Giannakopoulos barracking his defenders for lying too deep when Portugal were about to take a free-kick. He physically pushed them forward to hold a higher line and it worked. Portugal were caught offside.

Not only did they defend brilliantly, but they got forward when they had to and attacked the Portuguese.

Okay, so the goal Angelos Charisteas scored was sloppy and there was no glory in it for Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo, who made a complete mess of Angelos Basinas' corner.

But you have to give the Greeks all the credit in the world for the way they played, for their fitness levels and the way they defended.

They took the game to Portugal and got their reward.

Portugal had four or five decent second-half chances, but the Greek defence, marshalled by the superb Traianos Dellas, were simply immovable.

Dellas was a rock at the heart of the Greek defence, telling his team-mates what to do while he made sure that Portugal's pressure did not come to anything.

When Rui Costa came on for Portugal, he looked like the only player capable of causing Dellas and co problems, but Greece continued to defend brilliantly.

Dellas showed great composure, as I have said he has throughout the tournament, but more importantly his defending and positional sense have been excellent.

This is a fantastic story for the Greeks, especially since no-one gave them a chance at the start of the competition even after they beat Portugal in the opening game.

(And after seeing Greece win, there's hope for Scotland too!)

Alan Hansen was talking on the BBC's Match of the Day programme for the Euro 2004 final.



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