International Friendly
  • Trent Sainsbury (58')
  • Petros Mantalos (8')
  • Giannis Maniatis (20')

Ioannis Maniatis scores incredible winner for Greece vs. Australia

MELBOURNE -- Ioannis Maniatis scored a stunning goal from well inside his own half as Greece beat Australia 2-1 in Melbourne.

Maniatis' David Beckham-esque effort was the highlight of a fiery second friendly on Tuesday night at Etihad Stadium.

It was an uncharacteristically poor performance from Ange Postecoglou's men, and worlds away from their impressive display against England 10 days ago and even Saturday's 1-0 win over Greece in the first match of the double header.

The Socceroos started with no intent and had barely made it out of their own half when Greece opened the scoring in the eighth minute.

Mark Milligan lost possession cheaply and a quick counterattack put the ball at the feet of Petros Mantalos, who curled neatly over goalkeeper Adam Federici's head.

Federici, given a run in place of first-choice Mat Ryan, was beaten even more roundly soon later -- but none of the 33,622 spectators could have forseen what was coming.

Maniatis stole the ball just inside Australia's half and, seeing the goalkeeper well off his line, executed an exquisite lob that sailed over Federici's head and into the corner of the net.

It was the story of an unorganised first half from the usually free-flowing Australia, described by former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich as pathetic.

"That's the worst performance I've seen probably under the reign of Ange Postecoglou in quite some time," the Fox Sports pundit said. "And they probably got what they deserved -- which is nothing.

"Some of those tackles that the Australians made were unacceptable. If that was in a proper World Cup, they would have been sent off."

One bad offender was starting debutant Alex Gersbach, who was lucky to stay on the field after a reckless late challenge.

Trent Sainsbury gave Australia hope just before the hour mark. Minutes after skying a close-range chance, the centre-back capitalised on Tim Cahill's deflected shot following a corner to head home.

But there was to be no way back into the game for Australia.