Greece stuns Ukraine to qualify for soccer’s 2010 World Cup


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Greece, which surprised the soccer world by winning the European Championship in 2004 with a series of gritty defensive displays, surprised it again today.

After being held to a 0-0 tie in Athens in the first game of its 2010 World Cup playoff series with Ukraine, the Greeks were underdogs for the return match in Donetsk, Ukraine, but a first-half goal by Dimitris Salpigidis near the half-hour mark earned Greece a famous 1-0 victory.

That was enough to make it the 28th country to secure its place in the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa. It is the second time Greece has qualified for the World Cup, the only previous occasion being the 1994 tournament in the U.S.


Earlier today, Algeria clinched its place by defeating Egypt, 1-0.

Check back here later today for results of the final four playoff series between Bosnia-Portugal, Slovenia-Russia, France-Ireland and Uruguay-Costa Rica.

-- Grahame L. Jones