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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fanis Gekas came on a substituteA disappointing Greece suffered a friendly 2-0 defeat to Senegal in Volos on Wednesday in a match supposed to mirror Greece's World Cup match against Nigeria this June.

In this sole home friendly ahead of the South Africa finals, the national team had a slow pace to their game and produced very little excitement for the near-capacity crowd at the Panthessaliko Stadium in central Greece.

The Senegalese played a more composed game with greater speed and strength across the pitch and had a world-class striker, captain Mamadou Niang in their squad.

The Marseille striker gave the African side the lead at the 71st minute after running rings around Greek defenders Nikos Spyropoulos and Sotiris Kyrgiakos and slotting the ball past substitute keeper Costas Chalkias.

Nine minutes later Senegal scored again through a direct free-kick from the right by Guirane Ndaw.

Greece's best chance fell to Giorgos Samaras who came within a whisker of making contact with the ball in the six-yard box at the 37th minute.

The game marked the first cap of Steaua Bucharest striker Pantelis Kapetanos, who played the first 45 minutes as a centre forward but without making any impact on the Senegalese defence.

The national team rose two places to the 10th spot in the world according to the official FIFA rankings for February, but this result in Volos is certain to throw them out of the top-10 again.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greece manager Otto RehhagelStelios Malezas of PAOK and Yiannis Maniatis of Panionios have been invited to the national team for the first time, ahead of the friendly match with Senegal on Wednesday in Volos.

The two defenders form part of the squad announced on Sunday evening and concerns the Greece-based players, as the foreign-based ones had been announced a few days earlier.

The Super League stars to feature in the Greece squad are:

Goalkeepers Alexandros Tzorvas (Panathinaikos), Michalis Sifakis (Aris), Costas Halkias (PAOK);

Defenders Loukas Vintra, Nikos Spyropoulos (both Panathinaikos), Yiannis Maniatis, Giorgos Tzavellas (both Panionios), Avraam Papadopoulos, Giorgos Galitsios (both Olympiakos), Stelios Malezas (PAOK);

Midfielders: Costas Katsouranis, Giorgos Karagounis, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (all Panathinaikos), Grigoris Makos (AEK);

Forward: Dimitris Salpigidis (Panathinaikos).

The foreign-based players invited are defenders Vangelis Moras and Sotiris Kyrgiakos, midifelder Alexandros Tziolis and forwards Angelos Charisteas, Fanis Gekas, Pantelis Kapetanos and Giorgos Samaras.

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