HARRISON, N.J. (June 6, 2014) – Just over 11,000 people turned out to Red Bull Arena for an international friendly involving Greece and Bolivia as part of MLS’ Road to Brazil. Greece, who plays its’ first World Cup match on June 14 against Colombia in Belo Horizonte, won 2-1. Friday night’s match was the first time the two countries have ever faced each other.
Greece’s Panagiotis Kone scored the game-winning goal, his first for his country, in the 21st minute. His well-placed header from the penalty spot was assisted by a Dimitris Salpingidis cross from the right wing.
Despite being outpossesed in the first half by the former European champions, Bolivia still tallied more shots and shots on goal. Their best chance came in the 34th minute when Juan Carlos Arce found space along the top of the box and fired a shot that was deflected out for a corner.
Bolivia enjoyed more possession in the second half but it was Greece who had more opportunities. Greece’s captain, Konstantinos Katsouranis, scored his 10th international goal in the 54th minute off a corner kick, delivered by left back José Chelobas.
The South Americans began to gain momentum and confidence after that second goal and they continued to chip away at the Greek defense. Bolivia found their breakthrough in the 70th when substitute Rudy Cardozo received a pass from Marvin Bejarano, the eldest of three brothers to appear in the game for Bolivia, 25 yards out from goal and fired a shot that glanced past keeper Orestis Karnezis and into the lower righthand corner.
The win is Greece’s first over their last five matches, since a 3-1 victory over Romania in the first leg of the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs. Greece had been held scoreless over their previous three matches as well, all friendlies in preparation for the World Cup.
Greece 2, Bolivia 1
June 6, 2014
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
GRE: Panagiotis Kone (Dimitros Salpingidis) 21’
GRE: Konstantinos Katsouranis (José Cholebas) 54’
BOL: Rudy Cardozo (Marvin Bejarano) 70’
BOL: Rudy Carodozo (caution) 60’
BOL: Edward Zenteno (caution) 88’
Greece: Orestis Karnezis; Vasileios Torosidis (Ioannis Fetfatzidis 59’), Kostas Manolas (Loukas Vyntra 45’), Evangelos Moras, José Chalobas; Ioannis Maniatis, Konstantinos Katsouranis ©, Panagiotis Kone (Georgios Karagounis 59’); Dimitris Salpingidis (Panagiotis Tachtsidis 59’), Theofanis Gekas (Konstantinos Mitroglou 65’), Georgios Samaras (Lazaros Christodoulopoulos 78’)
Substitutes not used: Panagiotis Glykos, Stefanos Kapino, Georgios Tzavellas, Alexandros Tziolis, Andreas Samaris
Bolivia: Romel Quiñonez; Ronald Eguino, Ronald Raldes ©, Luis Gutierrez (Edward Zenteno 85’), Marvin Bejarano; Diego Bejarano (Jaime Arrascaita 79’), Gualberto Mojica (Rudy Cardozo 45’), Alejandro Chumacero (Damir Miranda 68’), Alejandro Meleán (Danny Bejarano 61’); Marcelo Martins, Juan Carlos Arce (Alcides Pena 83’)
Substitutes not used: Daniel Vaca, Walter Viezaga, Vicente Arze
Referee: Javier Santos
Referee’s Assistants: Javier Morales and Graeme Browne
4th Official: William Anderson