WC Qual - UEFA
September 7, 2012
Latvia 1-2 Greece
Greece came from behind to secure all three points in their World Cup qualifying Group G opener in Latvia.
The visitors fell behind when Aleksandrs Cauna converted a 43rd-minute penalty, but bounced back after the break with strikes from Nikos Spyropoulos (57) and Theofanis Gekas (70).
The game's first attempt on goal saw Greece midfielder Kostas Fortounis sending a header into the arms of goalkeeper Andris Vanins in the 16th minute.
Kostas Katsouranis tried his luck moments later but shot wide of Vanins' goal and Gekas was inches away from scoring in 35th minute, firing against the post.
Latvia had hardly threatened, but with the half drawing to an end they snatched the lead, Kyriakos Papadopoulos fouling Aleksejs Visnjakovs in the area and Cauna scoring the resulting spot-kick.
Within seconds Aleksandrs Fertovs had an effort blocked by Spyropoulos before Gekas brought a save out of Vanins.
Greece looked dangerous from the off after the restart, with Giannis Maniatis firing wide before substitute Georgios Samaras shot over the bar.
Fortounis then drilled a great effort just too high and three minutes later the away side were level thanks Spyropoulos' right-footed finish.
Samaras had another attempt blocked before having to be substituted due to injury and a minute later, Gekas struck past Vanins to make it 2-1.
The visitors pressed for a third but could not add to their score, with Gekas heading off-target, Vanins catching a shot from Katsouranis, Sotiris Ninis drilling too high and Vassilis Torosidis seeing an effort diverted by Oskars Klava.