Greece 1 Russia 0: It’s a magical moment – Giorgos Karagounis

Giorgos Karagounis reflects on “magical moment” after his first-half strike stuns Russia and books Greece's place in the last eight

Greece
1
Russia
0

Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis reflected on a “magical moment” after his first-half strike stunned Russia and booked his country’s place in the quarter-finals.

Russia went into their final Group A clash needing only a point to book their spot in the last eight after managing a win and a draw from their opening two games.

But 35-year-old Karagounis struck on the stroke of half-time with what turned out to be the winner after capitalising on a sloppy error from Yuri Zhirkov and driving home a low effort.

“The moment is pure magic for all of us,” he said. “It is something important for Greece for all Greeks.

“We said we would give it all, despite all the difficulties. We scored at exactly the moment we needed to. Now it is time to celebrate.

“I thank God for letting us celebrate such moments. We did not give up. We can compare this to our cherished moments in Portugal in 2004.”

Meanwhile, Russia coach Dick Advocaat was left to rue his side’s missed opportunities as they slumped to a shock defeat in Warsaw.

“We didn’t put away our chances but I don’t think it’s fair to say that we didn’t play well,” he said.

“We were undefeated for 16 games. We should have won today. That wasn’t the case and that is football. All compliments to Greece.”

Greece are joined in the quarter-finals by the Czech Republic, who beat co-hosts Poland 1-0 in Wroclaw courtesy of a Petr Jiracek’s goal.

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