Greeks sink Slovakia
Salpingidis strike enough to clinch three points
Last Updated: October 16, 2012 11:20pm
Dimitris Salpingidis: Striker seals vital win for Greece
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.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 16th Oct - Group F
Russia1 - 0Azerbaijan
Israel3 - 0Luxembourg
Portugal1 - 1N Ireland
Tue 16th Oct - Group I
Belarus2 - 0Georgia
Spain1 - 1France
Tue 16th Oct - Group G
Latvia2 - 0Liechtenstein
Bosnia3 - 0Lithuania
Slovakia0 - 1Greece
Tue 16th Oct - Group D
Andorra0 - 1Estonia
Romania1 - 4Netherlands
Hungary3 - 1Turkey
Tue 16th Oct - Group B
Czech Rep0 - 0Bulgaria
Italy3 - 1Denmark
Tue 16th Oct - Group H
Ukraine0 - 1Montenegro
San Marino0 - 2Moldova
Tue 16th Oct - Group A
Croatia2 - 0Wales
Macedonia1 - 0Serbia
Belgium2 - 0Scotland
Tue 16th Oct - Group E
Cyprus1 - 3Norway
Iceland0 - 2Switzerland
Albania1 - 0Slovenia
Tue 16th Oct - Group C
Faroe Islands1 - 4Rep Ireland
Austria4 - 0Kazakhstan
Germany4 - 4Sweden
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||5||8|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I