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Greece must fix defence

Thursday, June 19, 2014

NATAL, Brazil - Rock-solid defenders who constantly chase, tackle and bully their opponents have been the key to Greece tactics ever since they became European champions in 2004.

A decade ago, that team conceded a miserly four goals at Euro 2004 and its successor only conceded four in qualifying to secure its place at the 2014 World Cup as Greece stayed true to its reputation for hard work and ruthless discipline at the back.

That all changed when the squad arrived in Brazil.

The team's much-vaunted defence was torn apart in a 3-0 defeat by Colombia, whose display of speed and style sometimes left the Greeks standing around like statues.

Greece now faces Japan in Natal on Friday in a game that could very well put either team out of contention. Japan lost to Ivory Coast 2-1 in its opener, meaning neither team can really afford another defeat if they hope to advance out of Group C.

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