WC Qual - UEFA
October 16, 2012
Watch Live on: ESPN3.com
Greece leapfrog Slovakia
Greece climbed above opponents Slovakia into second spot in World Cup qualifying Group G with a narrow win in Bratislava.
Dimitris Salpingidis struck the only goal of a close game in the 63rd minute as Greece moved on to 10 points from four games - the same as pool leaders Bosnia-Herzegovina who beat Lithuania 3-0 today.
Slovakia almost snatched a late equaliser but Michal Breznanik's shot hit the post instead of going in and the home side were consigned to their first defeat of their qualifying campaign.
Bosnia, Slovakia and Greece all started tonight's matches with seven points from their opening three games and it was little surprise to see the clash at the Pasienky Stadium end up being a close-fought encounter.
There were plenty of attempted efforts on goal from both sides in the first half but the majority of them were off-target.
Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis was twice called into action before the break to keep out left-footed strikes from Marek Sapara and Marek Hamsik while home keeper Dusan Kuciak's main contribution was to keep out a header from Theofanis Gekas.
It was a similar story at the start of the second half with both sides quick to try their luck when in range of goal but with only a 35-yard effort from Slovakia midfielder Michal Breznanik on target.
Karnezis dealt with that shot, but he was finally beaten just after the hour mark when PAOK forward Salpingidis found the roof of the net from close range following a cross from Kostas Katsouranis.
That proved to be the match-winner, although Breznanik twice came close to getting Slovakia on level terms in the closing stages.
In the 81st minute he was denied by Karnezis at the expense of a corner, and then six minutes later the winger saw his left-footed strike hit the woodwork as Slovakia's hopes of a point disappeared.
|Dimitris Salpingidis (63')|