Daily Archives: September 7, 2016

Greece beats Gibraltar 4-1 and banishes ghosts


Greece survived a first-half scare by Gibraltar to begin its campaign for qualifying to the 2018 World Cup with a 4-1 away win, all goals coming in the first half of the game on Tuesday.

Far from convincing against a particularly weak opponent, Greece let an early lead – through a Costas Mitroglou volley on the 10th minute – as Liam Walker capitalized on the second chance Gibraltar got in the game to equalize on the 26th, with a great shot to the top right-hand corner of the Orestis Karnezis goal.

The ghosts of the home and away losses to the Faroe Islands in the Euro 2016 qualifiers started haunting the Greece players, and it took an own goal by Scott Wiseman on the 44th to restore order at the neutral venue of Faro – as Gibraltar does not yet have a ground to comply with FIFA standards.

At that point the amateur players of the home team collapsed and Greece managed to score two more goals before the half-time whistle, first through Costas Fortounis from a great through ball by Mitroglou, and then by a solo effort by captain Vassilis Torosidis from the right. Three goals within four minutes.

Although goal difference will count at the end of the qualifying group, Greece could not add to its tally on the night, as it missed all the chances it created in the second half, partly due to the performance of the Gibraltar goalkeeper, Jordan Perez. Thankfully Gibraltar also ailed to covert its own couple of second-half opportunities.

In its next game on October 7 Greece will host Cyprus, who lost 3-0 at home to Belgium on Tuesday.

source: ekathimerini.com

Cahill is the hero yet again for Australia


Tim Cahill demonstrated his enduring value to Australia by coming off the bench and netting the only goal in a 1-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying win away to United Arab Emirates on Wednesday (AEST).

The veteran, Australia’s all-time leading scorer, is now 36 and playing for A-League club Melbourne City after ending a brief spell in the lucrative Chinese Super League.

But the former Millwall, Everton and New York Red Bulls favourite has retained his uncanny knack for delivering when it counts on international duty, meeting Brad Smith’s cross to slot home from close range with 15 minutes to go at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. 

The victory, secured by Cahill’s 48th goal in 92 appearances, sees Ange Postecoglou’s team retain a 100 per cent record from two matches played in the third round of Asian Football Confederation qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

Asian Cup holders Australia, who defeated UAE 2-0 in the semi-finals of the regional competition en route to glory on home soil in January 2015, created the first real opening of the game after 16 minutes.

Tomi Juric found Robbie Kruse inside the area, the forward shooting across goal and seeing his attempt well saved by Khalid Essa.

A tense opening period produced few genuine chances, although Rogic, teed up by a Juric lay-off, saw a deflected shot parried over the bar by Essa in first-half stoppage time.

The visitors were perhaps fortunate to retain a full complement of players when Rogic was only booked for a stamp on Omar Abdulrahman four minutes into the second period.

Just before the hour, a mistake from substitute Abdelaziz Husain gifted a chance to Aaron Mooy, the midfielder firing his strike against the crossbar.

Less than a minute later, UAE enjoyed a rare sight of goal on the counterattack, Ahmed Mabkhout sending a difficult chance high and wide after being found in behind the Australia defence at the back post.

It took the intervention of substitute Cahill to break the deadlock in the 75th minute, the experienced forward reprising the role of the Socceroos’ match-winner he knows so well, collecting a deep Smith delivery at the back post and firing into an unguarded net, with Essa left stranded.

Goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and defender Ryan McGowan were both called upon to preserve the lead in the final exchanges, Australia seeing out a late UAE rally to join Saudi Arabia on six points at the top of Group B.

source: theworldgame.sbs.com.au