Shambolic defending leaves Greece with World Cup qualification mountain to climb

Greeks became renowned for their defending during Euro 2004 win, but it all went very wrong against Croatia.

Croatia took a giant leap towards Russia as they beat Greece 4-1 in the first leg of their play-off in Zagreb. But they were liberally helped out by their opponents and a series of horrendous defensive howlers.

After 13 minutes, Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis took a heavy touch when receiving Georgios Tzavellas’ backpass, then clattered into Nikola Kalinic. The Watford keeper, who had a nightmare debut for the Hornets in a 3-2 loss to Everton last weekend, couldn't prevent Luka Modric slotting home the penalty.

Croatia doubled their lead six minutes later after a swift passing move, flicks and flair included - and while Sokratis Papastathopoulos did pull one back with a header after half an hour, Ivan Perisic nodded in to restore their two-goal advantage soon after.

In the second half, Konstantinos Stafylidis gifted Croatia their fourth when he attempted to chest back a cross to his goalkeeper. It failed. Sime Vrsaljko intercepted to set up Andrej Kramaric with a simple finish.

Highlights are well worth watching unless you're a Greece fan, in which case it might be time to break out your Best of Euro 2004 film and hold yourself.

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