Giannis Maniatis’ first goal for Greece was memorable in more ways than one.
Not only was it the midfielder’s first strike for his national team and the eventual winner in Greece’s 2-1 triumph over Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday, it came from inside his own half.
The Olympiacos man picked up the ball just outside his defensive third after a poor turnover from Australia, took one look forward to see goalkeeper Adam Federici well off his line before launching a shot from just outside the centre circle.
The ball glided over the helpless Federici’s head and settled in the Australia goal to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The remarkable goal sparked wild scenes of celebrations from Maniatis’ team-mates, and he told reporters after the game: “As soon as I scored, all the players were behind me and cheering me on.
“It’s a goal I don’t think I could ever score again. It was my first goal for Greece, so it is a memorable one for being my first and how it went in.”
Maniatis continued: “All the boys bonded and for some of them it was the first time [with the national team],” he said.
“We got the game and the result we wanted because of the way we bonded together.
“I believe that slowly, the team will find its feet and will get back to where it once was.”
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