score football magazine
Euro 2004

euro 2004

Saturday June 12th

Greek Tragedy For Portugal

Greece spoiled Portugal's carnival atmosphere with a shock 2-1 win in the opening match of Euro 2004. Greece started the match positively and would probably have gone ahead in the first minute had it not been for a miss-kick in the box. 6 minutes later Karagounis was unchallenged and his shot from outside the area found the net for the first goal of the tournament. After the goal, both teams had some tame efforts in the first half. The second half was only 5 minutes old when Greece were awarded a penalty for a clumsy challenge by Ronaldo. Basinas sent Ricardo the wrong way with a well-placed penalty. Despite Portugal's possession in the remaining 40 minutes, Nikopolidis only needed to make some easy saves in the Greek goal, until deep into stoppage time when Ronaldo rose high to head home a consolation goal for Portugal. It was too little too late for the hosts who will need to wake up if they are to remain in the copmpetition. This is the first time Greece have won a match in a major tournament.

Spain Get Points

Spain scored a solitary goal to take all 3 points in their opening match against Russia. The Spaniards pegged the Russians back for most of the first half. In the 36th minute a Morientes close-range header forced Ovchinikov into a brilliant save. Minutes later Alenichev dribbled into the box but was denied by the hand of Casillas who had to save 2 more shots in as many minutes. Spain continued to dominate in the second half, and with half an hour to go Valeron received a low cross from the right and found the back of the net. Substitute Valeron had been on the pitch for less than a minute when he scored. The introduction of Torres seemed to liven up the Spaniards in the last 15 minutes of the match. In the 87th minute Russia's Sharanov was sent off for a second bookable offence in a match that also saw 8 yellow cards being shown by the Swiss referee.

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