Greece started their European Under-16 Championship campaign with a
narrow 1-0 win over Romania at Kiriat Eliezer Stadium in Haifa, with Georgios
Papadopoulos on target after 34 minutes.
Domination fails to bring goals
Romania dominated the match right from the kick-off and had the first
oppotunity to score after 16 minutes when Cristian Ianu broke free, but with
only Evangelos Pitkas to beat in the Greek goal, the striker tripped over the
ball and the chance was wasted.
Despite the Romanian dominance, Greece broke the deadlock five minutes
before the interval. Tamas Gabriel failed to clear Dimitrios Petkakis’ header
deep inside his own penalty area, and the ball fell to Papadopoulos, who
placed his shot beyond Sebastian Hutan. Romania pushed forward after the
break seeking an equaliser, and their best chance came two minutes from
time when Gabriel headed Razvan Fritea’s cross past Pitkas, but Ioannis
Nikolaidis headed off the line to secure an unlikely victory for Greece.
"Tough game" - Sentelidis
"It was played at a very high tempo and was a tough game," said Greek coach
Thomas Sentelidis. "Of course the result gives us a better position for the
coming matches, We created more goalscoring opportunities, especially in
second half, but failed to increase our lead. We already played Romanian
teams before and usually, just like today, we were the better side."
"Our team created three or four chances to score, but missed, which was the
fact that cost us the match," believed Mihail Ianovschi, the Romanian coach.
"It was first time that my team played under floodlights, which also created a