Greece 2 - 1 Republic of Ireland
Report | Greece 2-1 Ireland - Tough Athens night
Nathan Collins became the first Irish player to score against a Greece side at the Senior International level but that goal came either side from a Tasos Bakasetas penalty and an early second-half strike from Giorgos Masouras.
The opening chances in the game came from Greece when a corner sent into the Irish area was met by Mavropanos with his effort brilliantly saved by Bazunu as he tipped the ball over his far post. Bazunu was called into action moments later when a snapshot from Bakasetas following another Greece corner was tipped over the bar by the Irish netminder.
Greece was awarded a penalty as Callum O’Dowda following a VAR review was adjudged to have handled the ball, Bakasetas struck it down the middle ensure the ball got past the diving Bazunu to give the home side the lead.
Ireland went close to levelling when Smallbone and Doherty linked up and the cross from Doherty was met by Tsimikas whose clearance struck the side netting for a corner. Ireland was to equalise from the resulting set piece as Smallbones corner was met at the far post with the initial header by Evan Ferguson was met by Nathan Collins at the back post who slammed it past Vlachodimos and after a VAR check it was awarded for the Irish equaliser.
Bakasetas picked up the ball on the outskirts of the box, and the Greece captain once more called on Bazunu to make a save, but the Irish custodian was able to stop the low effort with ease. Following a cross from the right, Pelkas had a shot at the Irish goal, but Matt Doherty expertly blocked his effort down.
Greece was to retake the lead early in the second half as Masouras ran onto the pass from Bakasetas that was played into the Irish area with his low curling effort finding the bottom right-hand corner. Ireland nearly responded almost immediately as a quick one-two between Smallbone and Doherty saw the Irish defender rush his effort that went wide.
Nathan Collins forced an excellent save from Vlachodimos as McClean’s cross was headed down by Ferguson direct to Collins's path who struck his effort first time from distance that forced an excellent diving stop from the Greek keeper.
Giakoumakis had the opportunity to add a third for the home side as he collected the ball in the Irish area and got in front of Collins but his hooked effort went over the bar. Ireland went close to levelling in added-on time as a free kick to the back post found both Egan and Collins but the ball fell to Doherty on the edge of the area with his low effort well saved by Vlachodimos.
Ireland was reduced to ten men after Matt Doherty was sent off in added on time.
Greece: Vlachodimos (GK), Baldock, Mavropanos, Kourbelis, Masouras, Pavlidis (Giakoumakis 70), Pelkas (Fountas 70), Bakasetas © (Tzavellas 90), Hatzidiakos, Mantalos (Siopis 90), Tsimikas.
Subs not used: Paschalakis (GK), Athanasiadis (GK), Retsos, Papanikolaou, Rota, Chatzigiovanis, Limnios, Douvikas.
Republic of Ireland: Bazunu (GK), Doherty, O’Dowda (McClean 52), Egan ©, Cullen, Ferguson, Idah (Johnston 46), Collins, Molumby (Obafemi 80), Lenihan (Parrott 88), Smallbone (Knight 52).
Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Travers (GK), O'Shea, Browne, Hendrick, McGrath, Sykes
Booked: Mantalos, Pelkas, Bakasetas, McClean, Tzavellas
Sent Off: Doherty
Man of the Match: Gavin Bazunu
Match Preview | Greece v Republic of Ireland
Stephen Kenny's Ireland side started their qualification campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat against World Cup finalists France at the Aviva Stadium in March having deserved at least a point with a spirited performance.
Ireland will be looking to bring the positives from that performance into the match against Greece tomorrow night in a key match in their UEFA EURO 2024 qualification campaign.
Fixture: Greece v Republic of Ireland
Competition: UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying
Date: Friday, June 16
Kick-off: 7.45pm (9.45pm local time)
Venue: Opap Arena, Athens
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Video Assistant Referee: Christian Dingert (GER)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Christian-Petru Ciochirca (AUT)
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny confirmed that he has a fully fit squad to choose from for the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier against Greece.
Alan Browne has recovered from his injury which ruled him out of the Bristol training camp with every other player fit.
- Stadium Gates will open at 18:45hrs:
- Transport to stadium has been arranged by Police. Two trains will be available to ferry our supporters from the city centre to the stadium. The meeting point for this service will be Viktoria Square, meeting time 17:00hrs with Bars & Restaurants in the area. Police will then direct our supporters to the trains at 18:00hrs → 18:30hrs:
- Post-Match | our supporters will be requested to stay in the stadium for 20 minutes. They will then be escorted onto the two trains and brought back the meeting point.
- All supporters accessing the stadium must show a valid passport or ID along with their match ticket.
- Flares, Smoke Bombs, Bangers, Bengal Lights are prohibited and anybody who is found to have any of these items on their person or who ignites any pyro will be arrested by Police and taken to the courts over the coming days.
- All bags will be searched upon entry: Flags & Banners will be permitted. Drum, Bell & Bodhran will be permitted.
What he said - Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny
“We’re looking forward to the game, it’s the first competitive game in the new stadium, you want to be involved in that, we want that historic away win.
"Greece have a very good home record and have been in good form over the past year, we have got to respect that, nothing will be easy, we are going to have to fight for everything, it’s only the second game in the group, nothing will be decided so early. It’s certainly an important game for both teams.
"One of main objectives coming into the week, the training camp we had prior to here, it’s always a concern with a six-week gap and some players who hadn’t been playing there is a temptation to do much, we have to get balance right, one of our objectives was to get everyone fit here tonight, so credit to the backroom team that this is the case, everyone is available, we’re very pleased about that.”
What he said - Republic of Ireland captain John Egan
"A lot of preparation has gone into preparing for this game, we had a really important training camp which was needed to make sure everyone got back up to a level.
"It's been great to get everyone together to hone in on what we do as a group and really concentrate our efforts. The staff have been brilliant and we've had a really good training camp in Turkey and we're raring to go tomorrow night.
"George Baldock is a close friend of mine and he has been a good addition to the Greece set-up but there isn't much more I can say until after tomorrow night for sure."
Opta Facts - Greece v Republic of Ireland
- This is the first meeting between Greece and the Republic of Ireland since November 2012 in a friendly, a 1-0 win for the Greeks, who are unbeaten in all three meetings with Eire (W2 D1).
- Republic of Ireland have failed to score in all three of their games against Greece (D1 L2), with all three coming in friendlies in 2000, 2002 and 2012.
- Greece have won each of their last four European Championship qualifiers, winning three in October/November 2019 and their opening qualifier of this campaign against Gibraltar. Before this, they’d only won two of their previous 17 (D5 L10).
- Republic of Ireland lost their opening European Championship qualifier of this campaign against France, last suffering defeat in their opening two games of a campaign in Euro 2008 qualifying, losing to Germany and Cyprus.
- Greece have won six of their last seven competitive international matches (L1), with five of those wins coming in the UEFA Nations League and one in this European Championship qualifying campaign.
- Republic of Ireland have won three of their last six away games in all competitions (D1 L2), as many as they’d won in their previous 22 away matches (W3 D9 L10).
- Greece striker Vangelis Pavlidis was involved in 36 goals in 40 appearances for club side AZ in the 2022-23 campaign in all competitions (22 goals, 14 assists). Pavlidis, however, only has one goal in his last 12 appearances for his national side.
- Republic of Ireland striker Michael Obafemi has been involved in four goals in just five starts for the Boys of Green, scoring twice and assisting twice.
Republic of Ireland Squad - Greece & Gibraltar
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Atlético Madrid), Mark Sykes (Bristol City), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Darragh Lenihan (Middlesbrough), Liam Scales (Celtic).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Will Smallbone (Southampton), Jason Knight (Derby County), Jamie McGrath (Wigan Athletic), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United).
Forwards: Adam Idah (Norwich City), Michael Obafemi (Burnley), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Mikey Johnston (Vitória de Guimarães, on loan from Celtic).
UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying - June Fixtures
16/06 - Greece v Ireland, OPAP Arena, 7.45pm (21.45pm local time)
19/06 - Ireland v Gibraltar, Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm
All you need to know | Greece v Republic of Ireland
It will be the first time the two countries have met in a competitive international with the previous three meetings all international friendly fixtures.
The venue is now confirmed as the Opap Arena, AEK Athens' new stadium, for the pivotal UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier.
Fixture: Greece v Republic of Ireland
Competition: UEFA EURO 2024 - Qualifying
Venue: Opap Arena, Athens
Date: Friday, June 16
Last Five Matches
Republic of Ireland: WLWLD
Greece secured two wins in their last five matches against Northern Ireland Kosovo with a draw against Malta in an international friendly and two defeats against Cyprus and Hungary.
Ireland have secured two wins and a draw in their last five matches with two defeats coming against Norway and Scotland. Stephen Kenny's side secured victories over Malta in an international friendly in Ta'Quli and an excitjng 3-2 win over Armenia at the Aviva Stadium, with the draw coming against a strong Ukraine team, a 1-1 draw in Łódź.
Head-to-head - Greece v Republic of Ireland
Games Played: 3
Games Won: 0
Games Drawn: 1
Games Lost: 2
26/04/2000 - Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece - International Friendly
20/11/2002 - Greece 0-0 Republic of Ireland - International Friendly
14/11/2012 - Republic of Ireland 0-1 Greece - International Friendly
- 12 Alexandros Paschalakis (G)
- 13 Giorgos Athanasiadis (G)
- 3 Giorgos Tzavellas
- 5 Panagiotis Retsos
- 8 Giannis Papanikolaou
- 14 Taxiarchis Fountas
- 15 Lazaros Rota
- 16 Tasos Chatzigiovanis
- 18 Dimitris Limnios
- 19 Giorgos Giakoumakis
- 22 Tasos Douvikas
- 23 Manolis Siopis
- Referee Harald Lechner
- Assistant Referees Maximilian Kolbitsch
- UEFA Delegate Velid Imamović
- Assistant Referee Two Andreas Staudinger
- Fourth Official Markus Hameter
- Video Assistant Referee Christian Dingert
- Assistant Video Assistant Referee Christian-Petru Ciochirca
- Referee Observer Cyril Zimmermann
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
6Shots on Goal3