Greece Wins! (again)

Keep believing in the dream. The Greek national football team just eliminated the heavy favorites, the Czech Republic, in Euro 2004. It was a 1-0 shock win with a goal off a corner kick in the closing seconds of the first extra period. Not many gave them a chance in this one. Hell, not many gave them a chance to advance past the group stage. They now advance to the final, where they play the host team Portugal. It’s a rematch of the tournament opener, another upset authored by the Greeks. If there’s any justice, Greece will take it since Portugal really was eliminated by England in the quarterfinals. A blown call by the referee robbed them of the game-winner. Hellas-England: now that would’ve been great.

This gutsy Greek team just keeps surprising people. They’ve been getting great support from their fans, who’ve been loyal and loud throughout the tourney. The singing of the Greek National Anthem was shaking the house before the match today. That kind of backing surely helps. Maybe it’s destiny – this being the year of the return to Greece of the Olympics. Maybe it’s their German coach, who instills in them the discipline, teamwork, and even-temperament that they, as hot-headed Greek men, need. Maybe it’s their fitness level, their great man-to-man defense, and the fact that they play for 90 minutes (105 today). I don’t know what it is, but it’s a real cinderella story and I’ll be watching the final this weekend. GO HELLAS!!

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