|Spain came from behind to triumph by the odd goal in three last night at the Euro 2008 football championships being held in Austria and Switzerland while Russia overcame Sweden by two goals to none to set up a quarterfinal showdown against favourites Holland.|
Spain went into the Group D match against Greece in Salzburg as 5-6 favourites but the bookmakers looked to have got it wrong when Nuremburg striker Angelos Charisteas scored for the holders in the 42nd minute. Greece, at odds of 4-1 to win, had not won a single match or scored a goal in the championships after triumphing four years ago in Portugal and hopes were high at half time that they may be able to salvage some pride by defeating one of the fancied teams.
However, any optimism faded in the 61st minute when Real Madrid’s Ruben De La Red rifled home a shot from the edge of the box to draw the scores level. Greece’s misery was confirmed two minutes from time when Real Mallorca’s Daniel Guiza headed past Greek keeper Antonis Nikopolidis of Olympiacos to send the blue and whites home as the tournament’s worst team.
Spain is now listed at odds of 5-1 to win Euro 2008 and will play Italy, themselves at odds of 11-2, on Sunday in Vienna for a chance at a semi-final meeting against The Netherlands or Russia.
The Russian team, after loosing to Spain but defeating Greece, was tied on points with Group D opponents Sweden going into the match in Innsbruck and it was a case of ‘winner takes all’. Bookies had made both teams 7-4 to win but it didn’t take long for Russia, the youngest team in the tournament, to show what they were about against the competitions oldest team. Spartak Moscow player Roman Pavlyuchenko shot past Swedish keeper Andreas Isaksson of Manchester City in the 24th minute before Zenit St Petersburg’s Andrei Arshavin doubled the score five minutes after half time to send the Russians through to a Saturday matchup in Basel with the Dutch, who are listed at odds of 7-2 to win it all.