ATHENS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Greece beat Bosnia 3-2 in a
scrappy performance in their Euro 2008 Group C qualifier on
Saturday, opening up a four-point lead over second-placed Turkey
and edging closer to qualification.
The defending champions reacted quickly after the Bosnians
equalised early in the second half, scoring twice in 15 minutes
to seal the match. Bosnia pulled one back in injury time.
'We are leading in the final stretch of our race but do not
think we are through yet,' Greece coach Otto Rehhagel told
reporters. 'A goal is a goal when the whole ball passes the line
and we are mathematically not through yet.'
Rehhagel, seeking an early goal, unusually fielded three
strikers to pile on the pressure.
The Greeks' efforts paid off after 10 minutes when Angelos
Charisteas headed a cross by Christos Patzatsoglou onto the bar,
saw his rebound shot blocked by defenders but tapped it in with
his third attempt.
Giorgos Karagounis came close in the 24th minute but had his
powerful drive from 20 metres tipped over the bar by Adnan Guso.
Greece could have scored again in the 39th when Charisteas
combined well with Yannis Amanatidis and Fanis Gekas but the
latter's close-range effort was saved well by Guso.
The Bosnians grabbed an equaliser in the 54th minute with a
curling free kick by Mirko Hrgovic, who was sent off a minute
later for a hard tackle on Angelos Basinas.
The Greeks went ahead again two minutes later when Gekas
chested down a beautiful chip by Basinas and fired past Guso.
Nikos Lyberopoulos added a third in the 72nd, a minute after
coming on, with a fine volley after first hitting the post with
The Bosnians scored their second in injury time when
substitute Vedad Ibisevic pounced on a deflection in the box to
slot the ball past Nikopolidis.