Konstantinos Mavropanos conceded a rash penalty as Greece’s World Cup qualification hopes took a big hit against Sweden on Tuesday.
Following their dramatic late victory over Georgia in the opening game of the international break, Greece had an opportunity to leapfrog Sweden and enter the top two in their group with another win on Tuesday.
With that chance in mind, Greece dominated the first half of the clash. They had eight shots to Sweden’s one in the first 45 minutes, hitting the woodwork twice. Yet they couldn’t find the opening goal.
Approaching the hour mark, the scores were still tied, but the hosts were starting to apply some pressure. Then Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos made Greece’s job more difficult by conceding a rash penalty.
With a ball over the top coming into the box for Alexander Isak to run onto, Mavropanos charged across to try and prevent the danger.
Isak had already been forced wide by the pass, and the angle was rather tight for a shot, yet Mavropanos came crashing through and got none of the ball as he clattered the Swedish forward to the floor. The referee awarded a penalty and a yellow card.
Sweden scored from the spot and doubled their advantage through another long ball over the top to Isak 10 minutes later, who converted the chance himself this time.
The match finished 2-0, leaving Greece four points off second in the group with just two games to play.
To make matters worse, the team above them is Spain, who they play next. If they fail to win, their World Cup hopes will end.