Kolovos snatches win for Greece
© AFP

Greece pulled off a stunning, smash and grab victory over Mexico, with Dimitrios Kolovos scoring a fine goal in the dying minutes to make it 2-1 in their first game of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 Group D.

The central American side had dominated throughout, but went behind to a goal from Andreas Bouchlakis, before Jorge Espericueta levelled the game with wonderful free-kick. However, against the run-of-play, Kolovos struck to give the new boys a huge win over one of the tournament favourites.

Mexico began the brighter in a cagey opening, but were limited to long distance efforts until the 14th minute. A deep corner was fired back, with Stefanos Kapino doing superbly to keep out the deflected shot. However, the ball sat up nicely for Antonio Briseno to head towards the gaping goal, only for fellow captain Konstantinos Stafylidis to clear off the line.

The game swung on that moment, as two minutes later Greece were ahead. Dimitrios Kourmpelis fed centre forward Dimitrios Diamantakos who had peeled away to the left side of the Mexico penalty are. He fired across to Andreas Bouchalakis who dutifully side-footed in at the far post.

The rhythm returned to type as Mexico dominated shots and possession to no avail, until their efforts were rewarded with Espericueta's stunning free-kick five minutes before the break. More than 25 yards out and just to the right of goal, he struck a fierce, curling strike that left Kapino with no chance.

The exciting midfielder had already shown much promise at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, where he claimed the adidas Silver Ball two years ago, and looked keen to show more.

Greece burst out of the blocks in the second-half, with Panagoitis Ballas surging forward before unleashing a thunderous drive, which Richard Sanchez did well to get a fingertip to. At the other end Jesus Corona hit back in similar style, with Kapino turning his long-range effort wide.

The chance of the game came when Raul Lopez's deep cross deceived Kapino, only to see Jose Corona headed over the open goal from four yards. Kapino then produced a fine save with his feet to deny Bueno as time began to run out.

With two minutes on the clock, Greece provided the hammer blow. Dimitrios Kolovos turning on the edge of the area, before firing a rocket past Sanchez to claim a debut victory.