Greece upset Russia 1-0 with a first-half goal from captain Giorgos Karagounis on Saturday to reach the Euro 2012 quarter-finals and knock their opponents out of the tournament.

Greece, winning for the first time at Euro 2004, went through as Group A runners-up and will play the winners of Group B in the last eight.

Midfielder Karagounis, winning his 120th cap to equal the record for his country, made Russia pay for a flurry of missed chances when he scored against the run of play deep into first-half stoppage time.

Victory and his goal were bittersweet for Karagounis who will be suspended for the quarter-final after a second-half yellow card shown for diving.

"The moment is pure magic for all of us," Karagounis said. "This night is very important, it is something important for Greece for all Greeks. We said we would give it all, despite all the difficulties.

"We scored at exactly the moment we needed to. Now it is time to celebrate."

Russia coach Dick Advocaat said his team had played well.

"We went forward," he said. "The other team just defended. We didn't put away our chances but I don't think it's fair to say that we didn't play well.

"We were undefeated for 16 games. We should have won today, that wasn't the case and that is football. All compliments to Greece."

Greece, facing a win-or-bust situation, began brightly with Kostas Katsouranis's flicked volley punched away by Vyacheslav Malafeyev, but the Greeks were penned back for the rest of the opening half as Russia repeatedly let themselves down with wayward shooting that failed to test keeper Michalis Sifakis.

Playmaker Alan Dzagoyev, with three goals in the first two games, blazed wildly over and Alexander Kerzhakov's fierce shot flew narrowly wide.

The pattern continued as the game progressed but there was no end product to Russia's neat interplay and movement, orchestrated by Andrei Arshavin in the free role behind striker Alexander Kerzhakov.

Russia's pace and movement on the break gave Greece problems and Arshavin and Dzagoyev were a persistent menace.


Greece's defense creaked and Sifakis's goal was peppered from all angles but Russia's radar was askew.

For Greece, lone striker Fanis Gekas was an isolated figure, with Giorgos Samaras having to track back to fortify his overworked midfield and defense as Russia probed down each flank.

But having withstood the pressure, Greece stunned the Russians in the closing seconds of the half as midfielder Karagounis took advantage of poor marking at a throw-in to race into the box and fire hard past Malafeyev.

Roman Shirokov and Igor Denisov were again off target after the break and the Greeks were convinced they should have been awarded a penalty when Karagounis tumbled as Sergei Ignashevich stuck out a leg.

Instead, Karagounis was booked for diving, much to his dismay as coach Fernando Santos held his hands to his head on the touchline.

Greece defender Giorgos Tzavellas crashed a free kick against the angle of post and upright in a rare Greek attack in the second half.

Russian fans had poured into the Polish capital during the day and heavily outnumbered their Greek counterparts, turning Warsaw's National Stadium, which was nearly full to capacity, almost into a 'home' venue for Dick Advocaat's side.

There were no reports of a repeat of the street violence that marred the build-up to Russia's clash with Poland on Tuesday.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)