Faroe Islands stun Greece

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:11

Faroe Islands stun Greece

A 1-0 win in Athens is comfortably their greatest victory on the world stage, but the success in European Championship qualifying group F piles on the misery for the home nation.
Already down and under fire after losing at home to Northern Ireland, Joan Edmundsson’s 61st-minute goal could not have arrived at a more inopportune time.
Coach Claudio Ranieri will do well to survive such a ghastly result, while deep problems in the domestic league will add to the gloom with the Hellenic Federation on Friday suspending all professional football after an alleged off-the-field attack on a referee.
While a Greek inquest will now kick-off, the Faroes can celebrate a truly memorable win.
This was just their 20th win since joining the international stage in 1988 and their first competitive one since 2011. Their last competitive away win came in 2001 against Luxembourg.
Victories have come against the likes of San Marino and Gibraltar, though, and never against an established, top-level nation.
While Greece may be falling, they were European champions 10 years ago and this win – brought about by former Newcastle United academy player Edmundsson – is a seismic one.
It was clear something unusual was in the offing as Greece laboured in the first half, where other sides would usually be scoring goals.
They did not help themselves with a tepid opening, but even when they got about their opponents, they struggled to make hay.
Panagiotis Kone had their first chance, heading wide from a corner, and then Andreas Samaris drove over from inside the box.
Giannis Maniatis forced a first save of the game out of Gunnar Neilsen, but from distance, while Nikolas Karelis and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos were both off target.
Greek impotency invited the Faroes on and two minutes before the break they went closer than anyone as Frodi Benjaminsen had a header clawed away by Orestis Karnezis.
Their surprising pressure continued and Greece were happy to get in level at the break as Edmundsson also forced a fine save out of the home keeper.
Buoyed by their chances, the Faroes started the second half impressively.
Benjaminsen took aim from just inside the area and was set to celebrate until the ball hit the post.
Greece continued to be slack and Edmundsson made Karnezis work again, and eventually the pressure told.
On the hour Edmundsson connected with a ball from 12 yards out and the deadlock was broken.
Greece knew they were facing a real embarrassment and Kone set about trying to make amends, but hit over when well set.
Kone thudded the bar too, but the Faroes had earned their luck and their moment.

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