GREECE 5-0 MALTA Athens, 17/11/07
Gekas 32,72,74, Basinas 54, Amanatidis 61
UFWC and European Champions Greece thrashed poor Malta 5-0 to easily retain the unofficial title in this Euro Qualifying Group C encounter. Greece had already qualified for the finals, but they did not go easy on their visitors, who are rooted to the bottom of the group table.
Bayer Leverkusen forward Fanis Gekas was the hat-trick hero for the Pirates, claiming his first goal by stabbing in a rebound from a Stelios header. Malta kept the score respectable until half-time, but fell apart after the interval.
The pick of the Greek goals was a brilliant 20-yard strike into the top corner of the Malta net from captain Angelos Basinas. Then Giannis Amanatidis drilled home a loose ball to make it 3-0. Gekas then scored two goals in two minutes to claim his hat-trick, first a looping header, and then a poacher’s strike from a ball played straight down the middle.
Malta have now conceded 23 times in seven UFWC title matches, and failed to score once.
Impressive Greece now travel to Hungary on Wednesday evening for their final Euro qualifying match. Hungary were UFWC Champions as recently as September, having taken the title from Italy, then holding off Bosnia-Herzegovinia, before losing out to Turkey. Greece have already qualified, and Hungary cannot qualify for Euro 2008, so this match is all about the UFWC title.
Greece: Nikopolidis, Patsatzoglou, Dellas, Kyrgiakos, Torosidis (Spyropoulos 48), Basinas, Katsouranis,Karagounis (Tziolis 70), Stelios Giannakopoulos (Liberopoulos 46),Gekas, Amanatidis.
Malta: Haber, Josef Mifsud, Briffa, Said, Azzopardi, Pullicino, Pace, Sammut (Cohen 61), Nwoko, Schembri (Scerri 68),Michael Mifsud (Sciberras 78).