Posted on November 18, 2009
After a 16 year absence, Greece is headed back to the FIFA World Cup earning their berth with a 1-0 win over Ukraine on Wednesday evening at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.
Dimitris Salpigidis scored the game’s only goal in the 31st minute.
The hard fought game was played in less than ideal conditions with a rain-soaked pitch causing both teams troubles but with the first leg in Athens ending 0-0 the advantage was to the home side.
After surviving some early chances, one from Ukraine skipper Andrei Shevchenko, Greece broke through for the winner. Salpigidis made a great run and received a through ball from Samaras and the Panathinaikos striker made no mistake with his opportunity beating goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov.
“I’m proud of my players. They put all of their heart and soul into today’s match,” said Greece coach Otto Rehhagel said on FIFA.com after the match. “It was really tough to contain Ukraine’s attacks throughout the match but we did our best and luckily we managed to do it and achieve the desired result.”