Greece, Turkey draw at Athens

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Arch-rivals Greece and Turkey played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw in a World Cup European zone Group Two qualifier in Athens.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Arch-rivals Greece and Turkey played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw in a World Cup European zone Group Two qualifier at the Karaiskaki stadium in Athens on Wednesday. The two teams were seeking to heal bruised egos in Athens after poor starts to their World Cup group Two qualifying campaigns. Greece were seeking immediate salvation after going down two-one to Albania on Saturday, whilst Turkey were looking to bounce back from their disappointing one-all draw with Georgia. The Greeks were first to go close to opening the scoring in the 17th minute when Stelios Giannakopoulos raced through the Turkish defence and connected with a cross from Theodoros Zagorakis, only to see the ball cleared off the line by Okan Buruk. The Turks hit back to create the best chance of the first half. The Greeks lost possession and Turkey swept forward, with Nihat Kahveci producing a powerful shot that Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis did well to keep out. The home side, though, always looked more dangerous and Giorgios Karagounis went close with a thumping drive that Turkey 'keeper Rustu Recber did well to hang on to. Both teams continued to create chances, with Greece going closest to scoring. Zisis Vryzas should have done better when finding himself unmarked at the far post, following a Greece free-kick inside the Turkey half. Yet again, though, Turkey bounced back to threaten the Greece goal. Deniz Baris arrived late in the box, but his header was not a good one, and with that went the Turks' best chance of clinching the points. Greece did actually have the ball in the Turkey net when Angelos Haristeas glanced a header over the line, but it was disallowed because of a foul by Giannakopoulos on Recber. The end of a poor game came, eventually, and the two nations had to settle for just a point. Both teams looked a long way away from their successes in previous international competitions when Greece won Euro 2004 and Turkey reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals. (AP)