Greece at the double stuns Socceroos

The Socceroos have lost 2-1 to Greece in their final friendly of the Dodoni Series. 

Under a closed roof at Etihad Stadium, in front of 33622 people the Australians could not back up their initial win against Ethniki Omada in Sydney.

The Australians looked ordinary in the first half and many players looked as if they were already on holiday mode, but the Greeks who failed to qualify for Euro 2016 gave the Socceroos a run for their money throughout the game.

The Socceroos were punished early on the break, a perfectly timed slide tackle by Apostolos Vellios in the midfield on Mark Milligan led to Andreas Samaris setting up Petros Mantalos who finished it with class.

Aaron Mooy received the job of taking all the set pieces for Australia and it nearly paid dividends at the 15th minute when his direct free kick had Stefanos Kapino diving low to tip it out for a corner.

Five minutes later, it was one of the most extraordinary goals the fans would witness at Etihad Stadium, right-back Ioannis Maniatis tried his luck in Greece’s own half, the shot flew over Adam Federici’s head to bounce into the open goal, the Bournemouth goalkeeper was in questionable positions at times, being excessively distant from the box in lapses.

It nearly went pear-shaped on the brink of half-time for Australia, Alex Gersbach could have been sent off after a clumsy challenge on Mantalos, however only received a yellow card.

The Green and Gold almost pulled one back in the opening minutes of the second half, Mooy’s corner found Tim Cahill whose header knocked it forward only for Trent Sainsbury to make a meal of it.

At the 55th minute, it was almost a three goal lead to the visitors, the corner led to Vassileios Torosidis’ bulleted volley which cannoned off the crossbar and back into play to send the Greek fans groaning.

Five minutes later Australia finally got the goal and it was Sainsbury who redeemed himself from his earlier efforts, Mooy’s corner found three Socceroo heads, Cahill helped it onto to Milligan whose initial header hit the crossbar, however the Jiangsu Suning defender was able to pounce on the rebound.

The Greeks managed to see out the game at the dome and looked deserved winners. The majority of the Socceroos would now look forward to a holiday, excluding Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Cahill (Hangzhou Greentown), Ryan McGowan (Henan Jianye), Apo Giannou (Guangzhou R&F), and Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo) who are all still on club duty.