Greece triumphed 2-0 over Ireland in Dublin on Friday and will host the Netherlands on Monday fancying its chances for a ticket to the finals of Euro 2024.
The players of coach Gus Poyet played one of their most efficient games to date, with a tight defense and a prolific offense, though Lady Luck also favored the visitors at the Aviva Stadium when the Irish hit the woodwork with less than five minutes gone.
After absorbing the hosts’ pressure, the Greeks enjoyed more possession, started playing their own game and got to score a spectacular goal by Giorgos Giakoumakis: Kostas Tsimikas went for a run from the left, unleashed a pinpoint cross to the box and the Atlanta United striker jumped powerfully to head the ball home for the opening goal after 20 minutes.
Then deep in the first-half injury time another great team effort involving Petros Mantalos and Tasos Bakasetas had Giorgos Masouras find himself with the ball inside the box for his sixth goal in the last seven games.
The second half went by with less action as the Greeks were not so eager to chase a third goal and the hosts were unable to find a way through.
Ireland did test Greek keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos, but without success, with him and the Greek defense enjoying another clean sheet in the end.
Greece now has 12 points from six games, having beaten Ireland and Gibraltar home and away, and will now host the Dutch at Nea Filadelfia on Monday to try and clinch the second spot in the group with a victory.