Latvia out to dent Greek ambitions

Beaten 1-0 by Greece in Piraeus last year, Latvia will hope for better when they try to dent the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying hopes of Fernando Santos's visitors in Riga.

Latvia celebrate a Group F goal
Latvia celebrate a Group F goal ©Getty Images

Latvia will look to build upon a brave but fruitless showing in Piraeus as Greece come to Riga in Group F, still in the running for a place at UEFA EURO 2012.

• The home side won last year's 9 October meeting 1-0 with Olympiacos FC defender Vassilios Torossidis breaking Latvia's resistance in the 58th minute, scoring with a clinical finish following a neat exchange of passes with Kostas Katsouranis.

• Greece and Latvia will meet again in the coming years, having been drawn together in Group G of the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They were previously drawn together in South Africa 2010 qualifying.

• Latvia's record in five games against Greece reads W1 D1 L3 (W0 D1 L1 at home). They have lost the countries' last three encounters.

• In 2010 World Cup qualifying, Greece beat Lavtia 2-0 in Riga on 10 September 2008, and then won the return fixture 5-2 in Athens on 10 October the following year.

• Fanis Gekas enjoyed those two games against Latvia a great deal, firing both goals in the first encounter and four more in Athens, where two Māris Verpakovskis strikes had put the visitors 2-1 up at the break.

• The teams first met in a UEFA EURO 2000 qualifier in Riga on 31 March 1999, playing out a goalless draw. Latvia improved on that result with a 2-1 victory in Athens on 9 June the same year, when Mihails Zemlinskis hit an added-time winner after Andreas Niniadis had cancelled out Verpakovskis' first-half opener.