February 5, 2023

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World Cup: Greece v Costa Rica was the second most unfair elimination in World Cup history

Themis Kaisaris uses Opta’s charts showing us for the first time what Greece did at the World Cup in Brazil and how unfair the 1-1 draw with Costa Rica was.

It was June 14, 2014. The magical date from 1987 wasn’t enough for the national team that lost 3-0 to Colombia in their first match of the season. world Cup Brazil.

And yet. Despite the heavy defeat at the premiere, ten days later, it was Hellas They celebrated their qualification to the World Cup Round of 16 for the first time in their history, with a memorable penalty kick for Samara against Ivory Coast.

And on June 29, the dream of being in the eight ended at the hands of Navas, who saved a penalty kick for Jika.

The national team’s journey to the World Cup in Brazil began with a traffic accident, continued with an epic qualification and ended in the harshest way with a penalty shootout.

After eight years, SPORT24 returns to that historic tournament. For the first time you can see what happened in Greece matches through Opta charts.

And discover with us something that makes the result of the historic match at the age of 16 even sadder.

Costa Rica’s elimination of Greece is the second most unfair elimination in World Cup history. Unfortunately yes.

Colombia – Greece 3-0

Greece trailed behind on just 5 minutes, when Manolas’ response allowed Armero’s shot to pass under his feet.

Finals and expected goals in Colombia - Greece

Finals and expected goals in Colombia – Greece

In the end xGoals are balanced. But Greece’s big chance, Gika’s header from the edge of the box, came when we were already 2-0 down. Gutierrez scored the second goal for the Colombians, from friction in a small area from a corner kick (!) And James’s goal comes as a decoration on the cake in stoppage time.

Japan – Greece 0-0

After the defeat, the national team exited the knockout stage. Katsouranis’ sending off a second yellow card in the 38th minute makes avoiding defeat look like agony.

And yet. Karagounis comes into the game (on the bench for the first two games of the competition), Greece fighting their teeth and holding on 0-0 until the end.

Finals and expected goals in Japan - Greece

Finals and expected goals in Japan – Greece

Honda reaches 74% possession, Japan reaches 1.8 x goal, but can’t find the net. The three close range shots go wide and Karnezis has the answer for the shots (only four) that go on goal.

The national team has no goals after 180 minutes in the World Cup, but they have a point and luck on their hands: just win the last game against Ivory Coast and they qualify.

Greece – Ivory Coast 2-1

do or die Karagounis starts as a starter with a badge on his arm and Maniatis-Kone next to him in the middle. Greece makes two forced changes in the first half: in the 12th minute, Samaris replaces Kony, in the 24th minute, Glykos replaces Karnezis.

Hoolibas’ long shot hits the crossbar and in the 42nd minute, Greece strikes the decisive moment. Samaritan steals and converts with Samaras and executes 1-0.

The horizontal says no to Karagounis cannon in the second half, Akti presses and Boni’s direct execution makes the score 1-1 in the 74th minute.

We have twenty minutes left on our last try. And in the delays, and in the loss of time, Samaras wins the penalty, stands up to history and blocks the net.

Finals and expected goals in Greece - Ivory Coast

Finals and expected goals in Greece – Ivory Coast

The final whistle finds Greece celebrating its presence in the World Cup round of 16. And Opta’s “mirror” xGoals says “worth”.

Samara’s penalty sent Greece to 1.8 xGoals, with Akti at 0.9 and Drogba’s team no real threat. The two teams had played 13 finals each, with the score at 1-1, but Samaras’ final touch was enough.

Greece-Costa Rica 1-1 (5-3)

The day our luck turned its back on us. Not because we went out on penalties, but because we shouldn’t be led into it.

Costa Rica took the lead with Ruiz’s goal in the 52nd minute, also the only last goal against Karnezis. Our opponents have 10′ left in the 66th minute, Greece play with another player until the 120th minute.

Sokratis’ goal in the 91st minute kept us alive, but Greece didn’t find the goal they deserved, neither with Salpenidis in the first half nor with Mitroglou in the extra-time final.

Finals and expected goals in Costa Rica - Greece

Finals and expected goals in Costa Rica – Greece

At the end of the game, before penalties, xGoals are in our favor at 2.3 – 0.4. We conceded a goal without being threatening enough and didn’t score the two goals we “deserved”.

The second most unfair ban in history

The difference was 1.9 xGoals in our favour. According to Opta, Our disqualification was the second most unfair in World Cup history from 1966 onwards.

Only Brazil 2018, when eliminated by Belgium, saw an unfair exit from Greece. Apart from Neymar’s team, the team that had 1.9 more goals than its opponent has never lost in a knockout match.

A little unlucky in defense, a lot in attack

The graphs of our public presence at the World Cup reflect the unfairness. We start from defense, from the finals played by the opponents of Greece in Brazil.

Finals and expected goals for Greece's opponent in the World Cup in Brazil

Finals and expected goals for Greece’s opponent in the World Cup in Brazil

The national team has conceded 51 final matches, of which it “should have” conceded 4.3 goals and ultimately conceded five goals. We were closer to four goals than five. You couldn’t help but think of his purpose Ruiz.

We close with the picture on the attack. This was our World Cup effort.

Finals and expected goals for Greece in the World Cup in Brazil

Finals and expected goals for Greece in the World Cup in Brazil

We took 56 shots, “should” have hit 5.7, and we’re down to three. Even with the unfortunate moment in his net Ruiz, Greece had two stages to score and pass. It did not enter.

The circle was closed with injustice

Greece in Brazil had an amazing presence. Even the best teams have a hard time going through after losing 3-0 in the Premier League.

Santos happily drew 0-0 with Japan and eliminated Drogba’s team in the “final” of the last game.

By the time we got to play at 16, we were already successful, going further than ever before. That night in Recife, we didn’t just leave with our heads held high.

We were eliminated because in the last match of the tournament that opened with the saga of 2004, football turned its back on us, it wronged us for the first time in a big match.

But we are not complaining. For in the courts of Portugal fortune took care of us, and we got what we deserved, not stopping at any unlucky place on the way to conquest.

Ten years later, it’s our turn to say, “We could, but we didn’t.”

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