Greece ousts Ivory Coast on last-minute penalty kick

Samaras

By JASON MITCHELL

Perhaps the third time is the charm.

For the first time in its history, Greece has advanced to the World Cup knockout stages. In fitting form for a drama-filled tournament, it took last minute magic for the Greeks to top Ivory Coast and advance out of Group C on Tuesday.

With the match tied 1-1 in the 92nd minute—a scoreline that would have advanced Ivory Coast and eliminated Greece—Georgios Samaras drew a penalty in the box against Giovanni Sio.

Samaras calmly buried the ensuing penalty into the right netting for the 2-1 win in front of 59,095 at Estadio Castelao in Fortoleza, Brazil.

Samaras also assisted on Greece’s first-half goal.

The victory advances Greece out of the group stage for the first time in three tries. The Greeks were ousted in the group stages in both 1994 and 2010. Coming into the game, Greece had managed just two goals in eight World Cup matches.

Greece will face Group D winner and tournament darling Costa Rica in the Round of 16.

Substitute Andreas Samaris put Greece up 1-0 in the 42nd minute, his country’s first goal in more than 230 minutes of play at the 2014 World Cup. Samaris capitalized on a bad Ivory Coast turnover and worked a quick one-two with Samaras before beating goalkeeper Boubacar Barry.

Second-half substitute Wilfried Bony equalized for Ivory Coast in the 74th minute, one-touching a short pass from Gervinho past goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos to tie the match 1-1.

The goal seemed sure to advance Ivory Coast out of the group stage for the first time in three tries. The Elephants were knocked out in the group stage both 2006 and 2010, although they drew deadly opponents in both tournaments.

Greece was forced to substitute both goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and midfielder Panagiotis Kone in the first half due to injuries.

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Happy for the Greeks? Gutted for Ivory Coast? Think Greece’s bunker-and-counter tactics will get it past Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.

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21 Responses to Greece ousts Ivory Coast on last-minute penalty kick

  1. The Imperative Voice says:

    Everyone can take back all the woofing about Greece sucks in 3, 2, 1…….a stalemate machine that in fact churned out stalemates. Probably one and done now but that’s more than half the field can say.

    • Paul says:

      One and done… as in the Ticos with a trip to the quarterfinals? Who’d a thunk it.

    • Anthony says:

      I did not have a horse in this race, but I am pulling hard for CONCACAF in the next round (hopefully we’ll go from 3.5 spots to 4 or 4.5 – take .5 or 1 spots from Asia. They have all been from dreadful.

      I also hate watching Greece. They are dreadful because they defend with 10 in the box. Today they decided to counter really quickly…by not really creating any plays. I prefer direct football or possession football. This is why I used to hate Italy as well. That being said, Ivory Coast did this to themselves by not coming out to win. They should have owned midfield and put the game away. They still owned midfield to a degree. They are WAY too deep to loose to Greece. Their best player is Samaras…SAMARAS!!!!

  2. Raymon says:

    And as noted in the game day running commentary thread, Greece advance with only 2 goals and -2 GD in group stage! If there was a group of cupcakes and ponies this had to be it.

  3. frank from santiago says:

    greece=anti-futbol.

    • Wispy The Greek says:

      Hey, that’s anti-podosfero to you, non-Greek.

    • Paul says:

      I don’t agree. There are three primary strategic approaches – direct, possession and defensive. Italy created a national reputation for perfecting the latter.

      Also, I think it works a little like rock-paper-scissors. Possession beats direct, direct beats defensive, and defensive beats possession. (On average, and all things being equal.) The reason is because of the basic rationales for each approach. With direct, you’re trying to maximize scoring opportunities. With possession, you’re trying to draw opponents out of position when you have the ball. With defensive, you’re trying to draw opponents out of position when they have the ball.

    • Bac says:

      Anti Football = Greece scoring twice and hitting the woodwork three times=they scored more goals than their opponent= they won = they got enough points = they go through

    • James says:

      I get frustrated when a massive club like Chelsea plays defensively, because you know they have the means at their disposal to do more. For national teams, I’m more forgiving, because they have a small group of players at their disposal. If Greece tried to play expansive attacking soccer, they’d be crushed (I assume, although I don’t think this hypothesis has been tested). So can you really blame a team that has a style of play suited to their players that gets them not only to the World Cup, but the knockout rounds?

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        Agree. I hate watching Greece (although they were not so bad today) but you use what you have in the international game. And they can always point at the European Champtionship trophy they won playing in this style if anybody complains.

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      Anti-futball equals winning
      So futball must equal losing ?

      Petty sure you have that wrong….

    • Anthony says:

      I also hate watching Greece. They are dreadful because they defend with 10 in the box. Today they decided to counter really quickly…by not really creating any plays. I prefer direct football or possession football. Ivory Coast also did this to themselves by not coming out to win the game. They should have put the game away. They still owned midfield to a degree. They are WAY too deep to loose to Greece. Their best player is Samaras…SAMARAS!!!!

      • Tony says:

        Greece played great today and they deserve to go through rather than their opponents today. Many great counters and not to mention 3 posts. You can hate on Greece all you want buy for a country with a population of approximately 11 million people they are doing well. England with so many world class names and all the money in the world fail to impress year after year as other European countries such as the Dutch. So let’s tip our hats to Greece for they fight with all they have and leave nothing behind.

  4. Ivan says:

    Let’s see: a tournament in South America doesn’t mean Cope America plus Germany for flavor.

    Croatia: brutally assassinated by the Japanese creature v. Brazil.

    Bosnia: murdered by the New Zealand mistake of nature v. a shockingly bad Nigeria side.

    Well done, Greece! Deserved winners, they hit the post like 3 times today. And make no mistake, they will knock out Costa Rica on Sunday.

    • Cylo says:

      Well I hope Costa Rica doesn’t get screwed by the refs like Ivory Coast did today

      • Bac says:

        How did the refs screw IC? The guy took out his leg when he was about to hit the ball…period. Penalty. Game over.

        • Anthony says:

          I watched the replay. He touch the guy, barely. He fell because the touch caused him to hit the ground and fall. 20/25 years ago, that is not a foul..but nowadays, it is a *sometimes* foul.

          Either way, I hope and I see Costa Rica own Greece.

    • Edmondo says:

      You must be delusional if you think they can beat Costa Rica….they have to be my least favorite team in this competition. They are horrid to watch…

  5. mike says:

    The incredible thing? One of these two teams will appear in the quarterfinals!

  6. Opaaaa!!!! says:

    You think you would cut us some slack for making all these pizzas and cheezeboorgers and feta omelets and big Fat Greek Weddings for you? We always say GodblessAmerika. Why all you SBI peepool hate it the Greek peepol? Na malakes!