Greece down Bolivia in W Cup tune-up

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AP

Greece's Kostantinos Mitroglou, center, controls the ball between Bolivia's Ronald Raldes Balcazar, left, and Jaime Dario Arrascaita, right, during the second half of an international friendly soccer match in Harrison, N.J. Greece defeated Bolivia 2-1. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Harrison, United States - Greece, backed by a partisan crowd at Red Bull Arena, scored once in each half to beat Bolivia 2-1 on Friday in their final World Cup tune-up match.

Panagiotis Kone and Kostas Katsouranis scored for Greece - who open their World Cup campaign in Brazil on June 16 against Colombia - but a goalkeeping gaffe allowed Bolivia to pull one back late in the game.

Greece coach Fernando Santos opted to keep star forward Kostas Mitroglou on the bench and start his backup, Theofanis Gekas, who missed three good scoring chances before he was replaced in the 65th minute.

But the win will no-doubt boost the 2004 European champions' confidence as they ended a goal drought that had stretched through three matches.

That included goalless draws against Portugal and Nigeria in World Cup warm-ups in the past week.

The drought ended in the 20th minute when Dimitrios Salpingidis fired a cross into the area that Kone headed past goalkeeper Romel Quinonez into the right corner for a 1-0 lead.

Greece doubled the margin in the 53rd when Katsouranis delivered a well-judged header off a corner kick into the back of the net.

Bolivia pulled a goal back in the 69th when Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis couldn't get his hands on a shot by Rudy Cardozo.

Sapa-AFP


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