Just like in Hungary and Romania in recent months, Greece snatched a goalless draw from Turkey in Istanbul on Tuesday, just by having a solid defense and without posing any real threat in attack. Still, that friendly draw could serve to start building the team that new Greece coach Michael Skibbe will have in mind.
In a game that was more… friendly than expected – and with both teams wearing black armbands in memory of the victims in Paris last week – Greece gave priority to its defense, so in that sense the test in Turkey should be seen as a success.
Skibbe opted for three men at the center of the defense and a 5-3-1-1 formation, with Costas Fortounis supposed to feed lone striker Costas Mitroglou. However the Benfica striker was all but isolated up front and created little in the Greek attack.
On the other hand the Greek back line and keeper Orestis Karnezis performed well and prevented another away loss, four days after the 1-0 humiliation at Luxembourg.
The match was attended by the Greek and Turkish prime ministers, Alexis Tsipras and Ahmet Davutoglu, each wearing his national team’s scarf.