Karagounis greek soccer playerLots of exhibition games were played today as teams are preparing for the upcoming Euro 2008 competition which is just 70 days from now. Trophy holders Greece and 2004 hosts and runner ups Portugal met for a friendly game. Portugal was hoping to take revenge on the Greek team which like a dream managed to defeat the host twice in 2004 and win the Euro 2004 trophy much to the surprise of everyone.

It appears that Greece has become Portugal’s worst nightmare as the latter fell to the trophy holders once again. Greece went ahead by 2 goals from two brilliant free kicks taken by Karagounis. Notably, Karagounis was the scorer of the first goal for Greece in the Euro 2004 against Portugal; he was not able to play in the final game because of card trouble. He certainly made up for missing that game with his performance today. Playing a solid defensive game as usual, the Greek squad managed to hold the Portuguese stars at bay who only managed to score 1 goal in the 75th minute of the game during the visitors’ only defensive lapse in 90 minutes. The game was passionate and certainly gave the impression that it was more than a friendly for the two teams.

Greece qualified for the Euro 2008 finals by finishing first in qualification Group C with 31 points from 10 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. Portugal who has also qualified for the Euro 2008 finished second to Poland in Group A.

In other action, Beckham earned his 100th cap with England after starting in the friendly game against France that took place in Stade de France. Beckham who now plays for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer was substituted in the 63rd minute of the game while his team was down by a goal. Many wonder if this was the last game for Beckham with England’s national team. Ribery scored in the 31st minute for the French.

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