Georgia reached the European Cup finals for the first time in its history

Georgia reached the finals of the European Football Cup in Germany this summer for the first time in its history, with its victory on Tuesday over its host Greece, the 2004 champion, on penalty kicks 4-2 after a scoreless draw in regular and extra time in the final of the third track of the playoff.

Georgia achieved a historic achievement by qualifying for the first major tournament since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

The Georgian national team, which has been coached by former French international defender Willy Sagnol since February 2021, will play in the finals of the continental championship in Group Six alongside Portugal, the 2016 champion, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

Georgia reached the final by defeating its guest, Luxembourg, 2-0, while Greece swept its guest, Kazakhstan, 5-0.

Georgia restored the efforts of Napoli’s Italian star, Khvisha Kvaratskhelia, who returned from suspension, but he was injured in the second extra half and left the field, and participated alongside the brilliant Bodo Zivzevadze, who scored 4 goals in his last two matches in the shirts of his country and his club.

On the other hand, Greece, the surprise champion in Portugal in 2004, continues to be absent from the European Cup finals since 2012, when it reached the last 16 and lost to Germany 2-4.

In Tbilisi, in a fruitless first half with no significant chances for the two teams, the most notable opportunity was a shot by Georgi Chakvetadze that was blocked by Greek goalkeeper Odysseus Vlachodimos (45).

The second half was no different from its predecessor, with the exception of an orphan opportunity for Greece after a corner kick executed by its captain Anastasios Bakasetas, followed by Pantelis Khadgdiakos with a header that was blocked by goalkeeper Georgi Mamardashvili (79).

In contrast to normal time, the first extra half witnessed great excitement with two dangerous chances for both teams. The first went to Greece through Bakasetas, which the goalkeeper sent away to a corner (100), executed by Liverpool’s English defender Konstantinos Tsimikas, followed by Konstantinos Mavropanos with a strong header that hit the crossbar (102), and the second to Georgia after a pass from Substitute Zurab Davitashvili inside the area reached George Mikautadze, who shot it from close range, but the Greek goalkeeper cleared it with his foot (105+1).

At the start of the second extra period, Georgia suffered a morale blow with the injury of its star, Kvaratskhelia (109), without changing the result, so the two teams went to penalty kicks, which smiled at Georgia.

It is the first confrontation between Georgia and Greece, supervised by former Uruguayan international midfielder Gustavo Poyet, since the 2012 European Cup qualifiers, when they tied 1-1 and the 2004 champions won the second leg away from home 2-1.


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