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The Greek nationals waive premiums, they want a stadium

30 June 2014 / 10:06:59  GRReporter
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In an open letter to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras Greece’s national team players state that they waive premiums for their participation in the World Cup in Brazil, but insist on solving the problem with their sporting facilities. "We play for Greece, and not for money," reads the message, signed by all 23 national team players. Until the end of 2015, the team has a contract with the former Olympic base in the southern suburb Agios Kosmas, but afterwards it will "remain in the street".
     Greece last night lost 3-5 on penalties to the team of Costa Rica, the result in the regular time being 1-1, and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Brazil. Nevertheless, qualifying for the second round is a record for the team of Portuguese Fernando Santos.

     After 45 minutes of boring football and a 0-0 result, the game perked up in the second half after Costa Rica’s team captain Bryan Ruiz opened the score with 1-0. The Greeks struck back only in the 91st minute, after a successful hit by Papastatopoulos, thus making the result 1-1. A scoreless extra time followed that led to penalty shoot-outs. Unfortunately, Fanis Gikas (in the photo) missed one, thus making the final score 5-3 in favour of Costa Rica.

     "For me this is a sad day because I believed we would qualify. The lack of common sense during the extra time hampered us. We had the best positions but we played them in the wrong way", coach Fernando Santos said immediately after the match, for whom this is the last season at the head of the Greek national team.
     The Greek press today is commenting with regret on the outcome of the match, not because of the penalty missed by Gikas but because of the lost opportunities during the 120 minutes. "Our pride cannot be bet on roulette," writes Ethnos newspaper. "Good-bye with a head up" is the title of Naftemporiki. Kathimerini newspaper emphasizes, "The national team kneels down to penalty shoot-outs" and the headline of news site is, "Misery: the nationals missed a penalty shoot-out and qualification in the quarterfinals along with it."

     The match between Greece and Costa Rica drew the attention of the world press as well, which defines it as a "Greek tragedy" and "Costa Rica’s fairy tale." The American CNN TV channel is talking about "World Cup history for Costa Rica" and the British Daily Mail newspaper reads "10-men Los Ticos avoid Greek tragedy by holding out to edge World Cup penalty shoot-out." Another British newspaper, The Telegraph, writes, "Costa Rica’s fairy tale continues after the penalty shoot-out" and the specialized online publication emphasizes the role of Costa Rica’s goalkeeper who literally played for two, when his team was left with one player less, "Hero Navas continues Costa Rica miracle". Spanish sports website also pays tribute to Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, "Keylor Navas makes history and glorifies Costa Rica."

Tags: World Cup in BrazilGreeceCosta RicaQuarterfinalsPenalty shoot-out
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