Greece ready to overcome Nigerian «obstacle»

Greece face a must-win clash with Nigeria on Thusday after losing 2-0 to South Korea in their opening World Cup game.
But Panathinaikos striker Dimitris Salpingidis insisted on Monday that the Greek side could bounce back from that loss and overcome the “obstacle” that is Nigeria, which lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Argentina.
“Everything’s okay, we’re continuing our efforts,” Salpingidis said.
“We were very annoyed to have lost to South Korea but we’ve shown in the past that we’re capable of overcoming obstacles.
“We have quality, and we’re not out of the tournament yet. There’s still two games to play.
“We still have dreams and we’ll do our best to make them continue.”
He added: “We didn’t play well as a team – Korea were not a better team than us, we just made mistakes.
“We’ll try not to make mistakes in the future, remain focused and try to do our best against Nigeria.”
The striker warned that despite going down to Argentina, the African side were a threat, especially when going forward.
“Like us, Nigeria lost their opening match. They’re a very good team, very physical, strong and fast, a quality outfit,” he said.
“Nigeria work well as a team and created chances against Argentina. They’re very good when they play the ball in attack.
“But we have also shown in recent years that in big matches we have a compact defence with a quick counter-attack, that’s the way we play.”
Salpingidis downplayed criticism levelled at the side by Greek media, saying: “Statistics are for the media. On the pitch you don’t think about past results, but in every match you try to win.
“We’re playing in the greatest tournament in the world. We’re trying to be happy and enjoy the competition and give the fans something to cheer about.”
Aris goalkeeper Michael Sifakis said the Greek defence, which creaked badly at times against a speedy South Korea side, had to be a collective responsibility.
“Defence is not just about the goalkeeper and defenders, it’s all the players,” he said. “We want harmony amongst ourselves and to work together as a team, to try to keep the Nigerian strikers at bay.
“It’s not a disaster that we lost to South Korea. We have to remember how we got here, we’ve had some days to rest up and now we must be realistic about our goals.
“Before our play-offs against Ukraine we had the same criticism but we proved we could do it.”