Greece defeated Mexico by the score of 2-1 on Saturday in both football clubs’ first group stage match of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Greeks took a 1-0 early lead, as midfielder Andreas Bouchalakis scored a goal 14 minutes into the match. Dimitrios Diamantakos’ beautiful pass set up the goal.
Bouchalakis impressed for Ergotelis in May, scoring goals in back-to-back games against Gazoros and Panachaiki.
FOX Soccer Trax tweeted a play-by-play of the impressive teamwork.
Good first-time finish as Diamantakos eludes defender on the left and puts the cross on Bouchalakis' foot five yards out— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) June 22, 2013
Serginho instead blamed Mexico’s defense for surrendering the go-ahead goal.
Bouchalakis scores for Greece! Poor defending from Mexico's RB to allow the cross.— Serginho (@PureCatenaccio) June 22, 2013
It didn’t take long for the Mexicans to pull even with the Greeks. Midfielder Jorge Espericueta’s first shot attempt of the match was an accurate one, as he launched it past Greece goaltender Stefanos Kapino on a free kick just before the half.
The 18-year-old prodigy had scored two goals in his nine career matches on Mexico’s U-17 club.
Teshawn Edmonds reacted to the game-tying strike by Espericueta.
Espericueta (07 in black/gold/toro red) SCORES on a big, line drive in minute 40 to pull even! @miseleccionmx U20 1 : 1 Team Greece U20— Teshawn Edmonds (@TeshawnEdmonds) June 22, 2013
It seemed as if each club would earn a draw in the Group D standings going into the final minutes of the match. The starting goaltenders, Kapino and Richard Sanchez, had combined for 11 saves and were looking sturdy. About 88 minutes in, though, Dimitrios Kolovos of Greece got off his first shot of the game, and the ball flew past Sanchez into the net for the game-winning goal.
Earl Reed credited Kolovos rather than Mexico’s stop unit on the Greeks’ second goal.
I'm not sure that was lazy from Mexico, as Gonzalez portrayed. Just a great move from Kolovos and a shot placed well.— Earl Reed (@earl_of_reed) June 22, 2013
Nikolai Alho even went on to say that the Mexican’s were the better ball club—they were just outplayed.
89 min, Kolovos scores 2-1 for Greece. What a match. Mexicos been the better team...football is always a mystery #u20wc— Nikolai Alho (@NikolaiAlho) June 22, 2013
Mexican forward Marco Bueno Ontiveros failed to score in the match despite racking up four shots on goal. Mexico as a team managed to attempt 19 shots on the outing, eight being on goal. Greece only attempted seven shots all day, but it did so with incredible efficiency, as six were on goal.
The Greeks simply took advantage of their opportunities far better than the Mexicans.
2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup Group A Standings (via FIFA.com)
Both clubs will receive two days off prior to their next Group D match. Then, on Tuesday, June 25, Mexico will take on Paraguay. Greece’s game against Mali will follow in Gaziantep, Turkey.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.