DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Greece refuses to be spooked by its 0-for-the-World Cup scoring streak.
A 2-0 loss to South Korea in its World Cup opener Saturday extended Greece's goal drought to four games. Greece didn't score in 1994, its only other appearance, conceding 10 goals in three straight defeats.
"We had a bad day, and we shouldn't dwell on it," striker Dimitris Salpigidis said Monday. "You can't keep recycling negative comments that just pulls you down even more.
"Sure, there is a negative record. But you can't think about that," Salpigidis added. "Statistics are there to be overturned but they should not affect the way you play."
Salpigidis, of Greek champion Panathinaikos, will be up against Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, whose exceptional form limited Argentina to a 1-0 win in their opening match.
Key Greece defender Vangelis Moras is expected to be fit for the Nigeria match after recovering from a groin injury.
Popular coach Otto Rehhagel faced rare criticism in Greece after the loss to South Korea, mainly for tinkering with selection and benching Liverpool defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos.
Reserve goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis said expectations at home have remained high since Greece's stunning win at the European championships in 2004.
"We must be realistic. We are upset but we did not suffer a catastrophe," Sifakis said. But he hinted that Greece would revert to its trusted highly defensive tactics against the Africans, despite both teams needing to win. South Korea and Argentina are tied atop Group B.
"Teams must have a strong defensive capability in modern football. All the players must work to shut down spaces — that's not only a job for individual players or the defense alone," Sifakis said.
"With the Nigerians, we will try and keep their players away from our goal."