World Cup 2010, Nigeria Vs. Greece: First Goals, Win For Greece Keeps Knockout Stage Hope Alive

Goals by Dimitrios Salpingidis and Vasilis Torosidis have given Greece their first goals in five World Cup matches, with their 2-1 win over a 10-man Nigeria giving the Greeks a historic victory.

In their only other World Cup appearance, Greece went through the 1994 tournament without scoring a goal, losing all three matches.  After losing to South Korea on Saturday, Greece entered Thursday's match having gone four World Cup games without scoring a goal or earning a point.

That trend looked to continue when Kalu Uche was credited with an early goal after his set piece service from 35 yards out sailed untouched into Alexandros Tzorvas's net.  The Greek goalkeeper froze as he tried to read the play with a number of players attempting to meet the cross in the air; however, each player missed, allowing Uche's cross-turned-shot to bounce untouched into the left side of Tzorvas's goal.

Greece was given hope for a turn-around in the 33rd minute when Nigerian midfielder Sani Kieta was shown a straight red card for attempting to kick Vasilis Torosidis.  A minor confrontation on the sideline led to Kieta's action, leading the midfielder to leave the pitch with his shirt pulled over his face.

Minutes before halftime, Greece used their advantage to get an equalizer, with Dimitrios Salpingidis's 20-yard shot deflecting into Vincent Enyeama's goal.

After half, Nigeria had settled-in to the 10-on-11 match, even generating scoring opportunities for Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Chinedu Obasi, but Greece finally broke through for the game winning goal in the 71st minute when the rebound of a long Alexandros Tziolis shot allowed Torosidis to beat Enyeama, making it 2-1.

The win leaves Greece in third place in Group B, holding three points be separated from South Korea on goals scored.  The Greeks play Argentina on Tuesday in their final group stage match.

At the same time on Tuesday, Nigeria will play South Korea, needing to win and have Greece lose to have a chance to advance.  The Super Eagles are currently at the bottom of Group B with no points.

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