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Greece v Northern Ireland Live Commentary, 27/09/2022

FT
3 - 1
GRE
NIR
D. Pelkas (14)
G. Masouras (55)
P. Mantalos (80)
S. Lavery (18)
Stadio Georgios Kamaras

Commentary

That's all for today, goodbye!
Greece finish top of the group with five wins from their six games, scoring 10 goals in the process and only conceding two. Northern Ireland survive in the group by the skin of their teeth after Kosovo beat Cyprus 5-1, with the latter now entering the relegation play-outs.
Greece took a well-deserved lead in the 14th minute after Pelkas was quickest to react to Peacock-Farrell's mistake. The goalkeeper came out to catch a cross but collided with team-mate McNair and dropped the ball, allowing Pelkas to head home into an empty net. Northern Ireland equalised just two minutes later as Lavery instinctively finished past Vladchodimos after a great cross from Davis. Masouras put Greece back into lead just 10 minutes after the start of the second period as he finished home from close range after Davis gave the ball away in a dangerous area. Mantalos then finished the game off with a screamer from outside the box as Peacock-Farrell could not judge the flight of the ball as Greece won 3-1.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: GREECE 3-1 NORTHERN IRELAND
D. Goutas
P. Mantalos
Greece
90' + 3' Goutas replaces Mantalos for the final few minutes of this game.
90' + 2' Greece are being very patient on the ball and seeing the game through well but Tsimikas loses it after an attempt to take on four players.
90' There will be a minimum of three additional minutes.
88' Greece try to push forward again with Fountas down the wing but Flanagan deals with the problem before the linesman eventually raises his flag for offside.
86' Greece are dominating this second period, creating six shots with their 62 per cent possession compared to the zero of Northern Ireland.
T. Flanagan
Yellow Card
Northern Ireland
84' Flanagan goes into the referee's book after a clumsy challenge near the halfway line.
82' McNair floats a ball into the Greece penalty area but Vladchodimos claims the ball above everyone else and relives any pressure.
T. Douvikas
Assist
Greece
80' Douvikas plays the ball into Mantalos and allows him to drive into a lot of space outside the box. The midfielder makes no mistake with his long-range strike to put Greece 3-1 up.
P. Mantalos
Goal
Greece
80' GOALLL!!!! 3-1 MANTALOS!! Mantalos scores a screamer to beat Peacock-Farrell and give Greece a two-goal cushion. His effort from range had a lot of movement on it and the goalkeeper could not judge the flight of it.
A. McCann
Yellow Card
Northern Ireland
79' McCann receives a yellow card after catching Mantalos on the boot following a challenge.
C. McMenamin
J. Magennis
Northern Ireland
77' McMenamin comes on for Magennis to add more energy to the Northern Ireland attack.
S. Ferguson
J. Lewis
Northern Ireland
76' Ferguson replaces Lewis on the left side of defence for Northern Ireland.
A. Bouchalakis
A. Bakasetas
Greece
76' Bouchalakis comes on for Bakasetas for in the Greece midfield.
T. Chatzigiovanis
G. Masouras
Greece
76' Chatzigiovanis replaces Masouras on the right wing for Greece.
74' Charles tries to start a counter-attack for Northern Ireland but could not keep possession of the ball while dribbling forward.
72' Lewis takes a big risk at the back to let the cross go past him at the back post. Masouras almost gets on the end of it but just misses.
70' Northern Ireland are pushing for a goal here as they switch to a 4-3-3 setup following their substitutions.
D. Charles
C. Bradley
Northern Ireland
68' Charles replaces Bradley at for the visitors as they go more attacking.
G. Whyte
S. Lavery
Northern Ireland
68' Whyte replaces Lavery to try and find an equaliser for Northern Ireland.
T. Fountas
D. Pelkas
Greece
67' Fountas comes on for goalscorer Pelkas on the left side of the front three.
T. Douvikas
F. Ioannidis
Greece
67' Douvikas replaces Ioannidis to lead the Greece attack.
66' Northern Ireland are trying to break forward and attack but are struggling to pass forward consistently to break Greece down.
64' Greece are slowing the game down to make sure they are in control of procedings and can increase the tempo when they need to.
62' Northern Ireland are not playing good enough in possession to trouble Greece and put pressure on the hosts. They are losing the ball in sloppy fashion, much like the first half.
60' Greece have won each of their last two home games, both occurring in the Nations League, they haven’t won three consecutive home internationals since October 2020.
58' Greece are now using their momentum to try and find a third goal as Ioannidis finds Tsimikas open on the left-side of the box for a shot. Bradley blocks the effort well but Northern Ireland are under a lot of pressure.
A. Bakasetas
Assist
Greece
55' Bakasetas receives a pass from Tsimikas on the edge of the box and makes no mistake in finding Masouras, who finishes well for Greece.
G. Masouras
Goal
Greece
55' GOALLL!!!! 2-1 MASOURAS!! Davis gives the ball away to Tsimikas in a dangerous position and Greece capitalise on it. The left-back passes to Bakasetas, who finds Masouras open in the box to calmly finish past Peacock-Farrell.
54' The second half is starting a lot more evenly than the first half did. Both sides are enjoying time on the ball whilst also carrying out a strong press when out of possession.
52' Saville is back on his feet and able to continue for Northern Ireland.
50' Saville is down on the pitch and getting treatment from the physios after Peacock-Farrell flies into the back of him.
48' HUGE TACKLE! Flanagan makes a brilliant tackle in the six-yard box to stop Ioannidis from having an easy shot at goal. He is now receiving treatment after colliding with the striker.
46' Ioannidis gets the second underway for Greece!
Northern Ireland will be the happier team at the break but Greece will still be confident that they can take all three points from this game. They have had more of the ball and creating better chances than away side. Pelkas is enjoying his battle with Bradley on the left wing as he is getting the better of the 19-year-old constantly.
Greece took a well-deserved lead in the 14th minute after Pelkas was quickest to react to Peacock-Farrell's mistake. The goalkeeper came out to catch a cross but collided with team-mate McNair and dropped the ball, allowing Pelkas to head home into an empty net. Northern Ireland equalised just two minutes later as Lavery instinctively finished past Vladchodimos after a great cross from Davis. Pelkas had a huge opportunity to put Greece back into the lead but his effort from 10-yards out went over the bar.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: GREECE 1-1 NORTHERN IRELAND
45' + 2' Greece are dominating the ball before the end of the half as they look to retake the lead.
45' + 1' Mavropanos is back onto the pitch after treatment from the physios.
45' There will be a minimum of three additional minutes.
44' Mavropanos is receiving treatment on the pitch after a clash with Magennis.
42' Bradley fires a ball into Saville on the edge of the box, but the midfielder cannot control the pass and Greece win the ball back.
40' Northern Ireland are trying to see the half through and make sure they are not trailing at the break. They are not focusing on moving up the pitch but more on keeping the ball away from Greece.
38' Greece have been in possession for 66.5 per cent of the game so far and completed 91 per cent of their passes. They are being patient in possession but know they could be surprised again by the visitors.
36' Evans makes two blocks deep in his box to stop efforts from Masouras and Bakasetas in quick succession. Greece are getting closer to retaking the lead.
34' Northern Ireland are struggling to make good passes and stay in possession after regaining the ball. They are making it easy for Greece to relieve any pressure and win the ball back.
32' Pelkas has the opportunity to send in a dangerous cross from a free-kick, but he decides to shoot and hits the wall with a disappointing effort.
30' Magennis and McNair combine well on the right wing to work space for a cross. Magennis tries to find the run of Lavery but Vladchodimos catches the cross.
28' Northern Ireland have won only one of their last 12 competitive internationals away from home (D3 L8), and are winless in each of the last four (D1 L3).
26' Greece are trying to increase the tempo of their passing in the final third to try and break down the Northern Ireland low block. They are enjoying a lot of time on the ball but getting more frustrated as time goes on.
24' Magennis tries to catch Vladchodimos out after going for goal from the halfway line! He beats the goalkeeper but his effort is wide of the left post.
22' HUGE CHANCE! Pelkas misses a huge opportunity to put Greece back into the lead. Masouras gets in behind Lewis and his shot hits the post and goes into the path of Pelkas. The winger tries to shoot first time but miskicks the ball and hits his effort over the bar.
20' Greece are reacting well to Northern Ireland's equaliser and progressing forward with a lot more pace now.
S. Davis
Assist
Northern Ireland
18' Davis is given time by the Greece defenders to pick out a cross and he finds Lavery with a great pass to the back post and the striker finishes past Vladchodimos.
S. Lavery
Goal
Northern Ireland
18' GOALLLL!!! 1-1 LAVERY!! Lavery equalises very quickly for Northern Ireland with an instinctive finish at the far post from Davis’ cross. He times his run very well to beat the Greek defenders.
P. Mantalos
Yellow Card
Greece
16' Mantalos receives a yellow card after a very poor challenge on McCann.
D. Pelkas
Goal
Greece
14' GOALLLL!!!! 1-0 PELKAS!! Greece take the lead after Pelkas reacts quickest to a mistake from Peacock-Farrell. The goalkeeper tries to catch a cross but collides with team-mate McNair and drops the ball. Pelkas heads the ball into an empty net to open the scoring.
13' Davis plays a lofted pass into the box from the free-kick, but Greece clear the ball away with ease.
12' Magennis wins a free-kick in a good position for Northern Ireland after Kourbelis trips him over.
G. Saville
J. Thompson
Northern Ireland
9' Saville replaces Thompson, who could not continue with his head injury.
9' Greece are playing very comfortably on the ball and forcing Northern Ireland deeper into their own half.
7' Thompson is walking off the pitch with the physios as he can no longer continue. Northern Ireland are playing with 10 men for the time being.
5' Thompson is receiving treatment on the pitch for a head injury.
3' Greece are enjoying more of the possession early on in this game as Northern Ireland let them pass the ball around rather than pressing.
1' Magennis gets the game underway from kick-off!
The players are making their way out of the tunnel and onto the pitch!
Greece lost their first home game against Northern Ireland in their most recent encounter in October 2014 (2-0), having won each of the prior three such meetings before then.
Gus Poyet makes two changes to his Greece side as Ioannidis and Mantalos come into the starting lineup for Siopis and Douvikas. Ian Baraclough makes three changes to his starting lineup as Lavery, McCann, and Thompson all start.
SUBS: Luke Southwood, Shea Charles, Gavin Whyte, Paddy Lane, Corry Evans, Conor McMenamin, George Saville, Ciaron Brown, Conor Hazard, Shane Ferguson, Kofi Balmer, Dion Charles.
Northern Ireland (4-4-2): Bailey Peacock-Farrell; Conor Bradley, Tom Flanagan, Jonny Evans, Jamal Lewis; Patrick McNair, Steven Davis, Alistair McCann, Jordan Thompson; Shayne Lavery, Josh Magennis.
SUBS: Sotiris Alexandropoulous, Konstantinos Koulierakis, Vasilios Barkas, Georgios Kyriakopoulos, Alexandros Paschalakis, Taxiarchis Fountas, Andreas Bouchalakis, Dimitrios Goutas, Giannis Papanikolaou, Lazaros Rota Anastasios Douvikos, Tasos Chatzigiovanis.
Greece (4-3-3): Odyssseas Vlachodimos; George Baldock, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Pantelis Chatzidiakos, Konstantinos Tsimikas; Anastasios Bakasetas, Dimitrios Kourbelis, Petros Mantalos; Georgios Masouras, Fotis Ioannidis, Dimitrios Pelkas.
Northern Ireland will need to better or match Cyprus’ result today as they could be relegated to League D if they fail to do so. They beat Kosovo 2-1 in their last fixture after going on a five-game winless run. Gavin Whyte picked up a late goal and assist to turn the game around for his country and give them a chance of survival in the group.
Greece’s winning streak was ended in their last game after a surprising 1-0 defeat to Cyprus. It was the first goal they have conceded in their Nations League campaign, having already secured promotion to League B.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the UEFA Nations League clash between Greece and Northern Ireland.