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WARSAW: The joy of Greek fans relishing their team’s advance to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals after beating Russia was all the more visible in Warsaw Saturday as Russians hung their heads over the 1-0 loss.
“I’m happy, it was a great game,” Christofer Mandalis from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki said at the exit gate of Warsaw’s National Stadium.
Student Michalis Papadopoulos told AFP the result would bring some consolation to his country facing a deep economic crisis as well as Sunday’s parliamentary elections seen as crucial for its economic future.
“The situation in Greece is not good. Many people are sad, but this evening we’ll be merry,” said the young fan studying marketing in Warsaw within Erasmus, the European Union’s student exchange programme.
“Tomorrow there’s the election, but nobody is thinking about that — the next game is what’s on our minds now,” Teo Vogdanos, the chef of a Greek restaurant in Warsaw, told AFP.
In stark contrast, Piotr, a Russian fan, had harsh words for his national side.
“It’s very simple: those who can’t play lose. There’s no mystery in that,” he said grimly.
“It’s over. I’m going back home, as usual. Our team can’t play. The 4-1 win against the Czechs was pure luck,” Igor Goshkov from the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg added in an equally bitter tone, referring to the Russians’ opening game.
Greece, facing a deep debt crisis, confounded all pundits to advance to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals after seeing off Russia, the odds-on favourite of Group A.
In the other game, the Czech Republic sealed a quarter-final berth by beating co-hosts Poland 1-0. -- AFP