Soccer / World Cup

Greece slips past Bolivia

AP

Panagiotis Kone ended Greece’s nearly four-game run without a goal in the first half and the Europeans beat Bolivia 2-1 Friday night, their last friendly before heading to Brazil for the World Cup.

Kone’s goal in the 21st minute was Greece’s first in 358 minutes, since Konstantinos Mitroglou’s score in a 1-1 draw against Romania in November. Greece lost 2-0 to South Korea in March and had 0-0 draws against Portugal and Nigeria in the past week.

Konstantinos Katsouranis added a 54th-minute tally as the Greeks ended a four-game winless streak before a crowd of 11,024 at Red Bull Arena. It last won in that November 3-1 triumph over Romania in a European qualifier.

“Normally, we score,” Greece’s Portuguese coach Fernando Santos said through a translator. “It’s not a relief (to score). I would say we’re satisfied because we capitalized on the opportunities that we made.

“Today we had the opportunities and we scored. The other games we had some opportunities, but unfortunately we didn’t score.”

Bolivia, which finished last in South American World Cup qualifying with Paraguay, extended its winless string to 11 matches. It has not won since a 2-1 victory over Haiti in a friendly on Feb. 6, 2013.

Greece opens the World Cup against Colombia on June 14, and then will play Japan and Cote d’Ivoire in Group C.