Maniatis nets from own half as Greece sink Socceroos 2-1

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 07: Giannis Maniatis of Greece is congratulated by his teammates after kicking a goal from half way during the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 07: Giannis Maniatis of Greece is congratulated by his teammates after kicking a goal from half way during the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Giannis Maniatis scored a sensational goal from inside his own half to light up a scrappy game as Greece defeated Australia 2-1 in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The Socceroos beat their European opponents 1-0 in the first game of a two-match series, Mathew Leckie netting the winner in stoppage-time at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

But Michael Skibbe’s visitors gained revenge at Etihad Stadium, where Petros Mantalos opened the scoring.

An ill-tempered match will be remembered for Maniatis’s 20th-minute goal, the midfielder having embarrassed Australia goalkeeper Adam Federici with a goal worthy of the likes of David Beckham and Xabi Alonso.

The hosts, coached by Greek-born Ange Postecoglou, got one back though Trent Sainsbury after a goalmouth scramble just before the hour mark, but they proved unable to claim an equaliser in an unusually incoherent display from the reigning Asian champions.

Greece started strongly and deservedly took the lead in the eighth minute.

Apostolos Vellios stole possession from Mark Milligan and found Andreas Samaris, who slid in Mantalos. The midfielder advanced into the area unopposed and dispatched a simple finish past Federici.

The visitors doubled their lead in spectacular fashion 12 minutes later. Maniatis, picking up possession inside his own half, spotted Federici off his line and dispatched a perfectly-weighted lob over the stranded AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper to score a remarkable long-range goal.

The Socceroos could muster little in response, threatening only sporadically and rarely calling Greece goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino into action.

Australia began the second half with more purpose, but Greece were inches away from making it 3-0 in the 56th minute as captain Vasilis Torosidis smashed a hooked attempt from a corner against the upright.

Two minutes later the disjointed hosts finally hit the back of the net, when Aaron Mooy swung in a corner that was met by the head of Tim Cahill. Milligan steered a header of his own from Cahill’s attempt on to the crossbar, before Sainsbury nodded the rebound into an unguarded net.

A slew of substitutions typical of non-competitive internationals slowed the tempo as the match wore on, with neither side creating an opening of note in the closing exchanges.

Greece begin their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Cyprus in October, while Australia kick-off the fourth round of AFC qualifying against Iraq on 31 August.

source:theworldgame.sbs.com.au

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s