The Greek national soccer team suffered another evening of shame at the hands of the Faroe Islands on Saturday, losing this time 2-1 away, seven months after its 1-0 loss at home in November. These results have now sealed Greece’s elimination from the finals of Euro 2016.
Against a semi-professional team (it had five amateur players in the starting line-up) that was urged on by a capacity crowd of 5,000 fans, Greece had problems all over the pitch, and even luck was not on its side.
After the first 10 minutes when the Greeks appeared somewhat mesmerized – the artificial pitch did not help them acclimatize earlier – they had their first chances through Yiannis Fetfatzidis, Nikos Karelis and Costas Mitroglou.
Then on the 32nd minute Mitroglou sent his shot to stroke the upper side of the crossbar. Hardly had the Greeks returned to their half of the pitch after that when Hallur Hansson found a hole in the Greek defense to translate a good diagonal pass from the right by Solvi Vatnhamar into the opening goal for the hosts.
The islanders kept making inroads from the left side of the Greek defense, with Costas Stafylidis having problems in holding his position. The Greek midfield was clearly a sum of players thrown together and unable to communicate, and it was only some individual efforts that gave Greece some goalscoring chances in the first half.
The introduction of substitute Sotiris Ninis at half-time livened things up in the midfield as he appeared to link up better with Panayiotis Kone and Fetfatzidis, with Greece creating a number of chances from the start of the second half. Karelis saw his shot struck the upright and Mitroglou had a goal disallowed for a foul that TV replays showed it never was.
The shock was completed 20 minutes from time when a spectacular lob from the right by Brandur Olsen beat Greek keeper Orestis Karnezis for 2-0 after yet another cross from the right by Vatnhamar.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored Greece’s consolation goal heading the ball home after a corner kick from the right by Ninis. But with this goal coming just six minutes from the end, it was too little, too late for Greece and its 50 brave fans who made the long trip to this European outpost.