Samaras spot-kick seals Greek triumph

ATHENS - A second half penalty from Giorgios Samaras helped Greece to a 2-1 win over Israel in Iraklio, Crete, in their World Cup Group Two qualifier on Wednesday. Dimitris Salpigidis put Greece ahead after 32 minutes when he hit a powerful shot from the edge of the Israel area that flew into the net. Israel produced little in the first half but the introduction at the break of Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun fired them up and they were rewarded in the 59th minute when Elyaniv Barda's shot took a deflection into the Greek net. The Greeks struck back quickly. When Vassilis Torosidis was brought down in the area in the 67th minute by Baram Kiya, Samaras stepped up to the mark to send the ball past Dudu Aouate. Greece remain top of the group alongside Switzerland with 13 points. The two sides will meet next in Switzerland in September. Midfielder Angelos Basinas became the second Greek to win 100 caps when he came on as a late substitute for Angelos Charisteas. The 33-year-old midfielder made his international debut against El Salvador in August 1999, scoring in a 3-0 win. He then became a permanent fixture in the side and was an integral part of the Greece team who stunned the world by winning Euro 2004 in Portugal.