Greece 2, Bolivia 1 | Road to Brazil Match Recap
Greece felt right at home at Red Bull Arena on Friday night, backed by a partisan crowd as they saw out a 2-1 win over Bolivia in their final warmup match before they open the World Cup against Colombia on June 16. Panagiotis Kone and Kostas Katsouranis found the back of the net for the Euro 2004 champions, though a goalkeeping gaffe allowed Bolivia back in the game.
Misfiring forwards: Greece managed the win, but it was a fairly ugly night for strikers on both sides. Greece head coach Fernando Santos opted to keep star foward Kostas Mitroglou on the bench to start and his replacement, Theofanis Gekas, did not acquit himself well when he missed three clear chances before being pulled in the 65th minute.
Set piece party: Dead balls have been Greece's bread and butter throughout their renaissance over the past decade, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon. They have both the takers and the targets to be successful, and showed that on evening. Kone delivered some dagnerous balls in addition to a strong overall showing and a goal, while Katsouranis got up to score a header off a Jose Holebas corner for Greece's second. Positive signs for Santos & Co.
Adventures in goalkeeping: The Greeks are going into the World Cup knowing they'll need some stellar defense and goalkeeping to make an impression in Brazil. The latter will certainly be a concern after nominal starter Orestis Karnezis, who played just a handful of games in La Liga this season for Granada, failed to even touch a dipping shot from distance by Rudy Cardozo that should have been pushed away, at the very least.
Man of the Match: Georgios Samaras, Greece. He didn't get on the score sheet, but worked hard and created some of the best chances for Greece on the night, including one that Gekas really should have put away to open the scoring.