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More misery for Greece as Liechtenstein grab late draw

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By Reuters
More misery for Greece as Liechtenstein grab late draw
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group J - Greece v Liechtenstein - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece - September 8, 2019 Greece's Kostas Manolas in action with Liechtenstein's Dennis Salanovic REUTERS/Costas Baltas   -   Copyright  COSTAS BALTAS(Reuters)

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s miserable run in the Euro 2020 qualifiers continued on Sunday when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a Liechtenstein side who had lost their previous five games in the group without scoring.

Liechtenstein, whose population of 38,000 would comfortably fit inside the Athens Olympic stadium, had lost their previous 19 European and World Cup qualifiers, a run stretching back to a 1-1 draw with Moldova in June 2015.

In a near-deserted arena, Greece, the Euro 2004 champions, went ahead in the 33rd minute when Giorgios Masouras turned in a cross from Efthymis Koulouris.

But the hosts, whose previous matches in the group produced home defeats against Italy and Armenia and a loss in Finland, paid a heavy price for failing to add to that goal.

With five minutes left, Nicolas Hasler sent a hopeful ball forward for Denis Salanovic who managed to evade his marker and slip the ball past Vasilios Barkas to stun the hosts.

Greece, who missed both Euro 2016 and the last World Cup, are fifth in the six-team Group J with five points while Liechtenstein remained bottom with one and a goal difference of minus 18.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)