Nine-man Greece celebrated its independence day holiday by holding Belgium to 1-1 in Brussels in World Cup qualifying on Saturday.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) Nine-man Greece celebrated its independence day holiday by holding Belgium to 1-1 in Brussels in World Cup qualifying on Saturday.
Kostas Mitroglou exploited a brief lapse in concentration from Belgium. The Europe Group H favorite looked defeated until Romelu Lukaku chested down the ball and scored with two minutes remaining, to keep his team on top.
The Belgians should have led early, when Dries Mertens found a gap at the back but Maroune Fellaini, under little pressure, missed a header at close range.
The Greeks did what they do best: Absorbing pressure, and relying on their world-class defense, anchored by Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who remained solid all evening at King Baudouin Stadium.
Just 20 seconds into the second half, Mitroglou tapped the ball past Thibault Courtois in goal.
The goal was a blow to Belgium's confidence, but the side picked up from the 65th minute when Panagiotis Tachtsidis was sent off for his second booking, a clumsy tackle on Toby Alderweireld.
Lukaku rescued Belgium, and nearly added a second moments later, only to be denied by Stefanos Kapino.
Greece's Giorgos Tzavelas was ejected in injury time following a scuffle.
In Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina sealed its third win by hammering Gibraltar 5-0.
Gibraltar's defense was no match for the pacey Bosnians, and Vedad Ibisevic scored twice before the break. Ibisevic also set up the fifth and last goal.
Bosnia is trying to make its second World Cup finals.
In Cyprus, the home side and Estonia drew 0-0.