Greece suffer from Koeman influence
Hungary 3-2 Greece
Erwin Koeman celebrated his debut at the helm of the Hungarian national squad by handing Greece their first defeat since last August.
The Dutch coach saw his side play with greater vigour than their opponents in Budapest to turn the match around after they had fallen behind just before the interval to an Ioannis Amanatidis goal. Goals from Balázs Dzsudzsák, Roland Juhász, Krisztián Vadócz after the break left Greece reeling with a late Nikolaos Liberopoulos effort of little consolation.
Greece, who are preparing for the defence of their European crown, took the lead in the 45th minute when Konstantinos Katsouranis produced a deep cross for Theofanis Gekas and, although the latter's volley did not find the net, the Hungary defence failed to clear and Amanatidis scored from close range.
In the second half, Hungary took command and took advantage of a lapse in Greece's concentration. Dzsudzsák received Zoltán Gera's assist from the right and, unmarked outside the box, he produced a left-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Konstantinos Chalkias to level seconds after the restart. Then, on 59 minutes, Hungary took the lead with a close-range header by Juhász following a free-kick by Szabolcs Huszti.
Four minutes later from another set-piece by Huszti, Tamás Hajnal headed the ball into the area and although Angelos Charisteas cleared off the goalline, Vadócz was lurking in the box to make it 3-1. After the shock of conceding three goals in just 18 minutes, Greece tried to take control of the encounter and came close to scoring when Sotirios Kyrgiakos' header hit the post.
Greece were lacking a link between midfield and attack with Georgios Karagounis being sidelined due to a bruised knee but their late efforts led to a second goal in added time when substitute Liberopoulos headed in following an assist from Kyrgiakos.
Greece coach Otto Rehhagel was given further concerns apart from the result due to injuries to goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis, substituted as a precaution after 22 minutes with a right-leg problem, and captain Angelos Basinas, who suffered a sore left calf late on. Greece travel to Frankfurt tomorrow, for their main preparation stage for UEFA EURO 2008™ and will play their last friendly encounter on 1 June against Armenia in Offenbach.
Hungary: Fülöp, Vadócz, Löw, Juhász, Szélesi, Vanczák, Dzsudzsák, Dárdai, Gera (Koltai 89), Hajnal (Orosz 82), Huszti.
Greece: Nikopolidis (Chalkias 22), Seitaridis (Vintra 66), Kyrgiakos, Dellas (Patsatzoglou 66), Torosidis, Antzas, Basinas (Liberopoulos 77), Katsouranis, Charisteas, Gekas (Samaras 46), Amanatidis (Giannakopoulos 46).