Greece drops Tziolis, Kone from Euro 2012 squad
ATHENS - The Associated Press
Sokratis, right, andf teammate Alexandros Tziolis, of Greece, center, and Zlatan Ljubijankic of Slovenia challenge for the ball during a friendly soccer match between Greece and Slovenia in Kufstein, Austria, Saturday, May 26, 2012. AP photo
Greece coach Fernando Santos dropped midfielders Alexandros Tziolis and Panagiotis Kone from his final 23-player squad for the European Championship on Monday.
Santos announced the move after both players had competed in a warm-up game against Slovenia on Saturday. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and was held in Kufstein, Austria, near Greece's pre-tournament training camp.
Kone, who plays for Bologna, had been widely expected to be cut after he hit a Slovenia player during injury time and was sent off.
Greece, the 2004 champion, was drawn with co-host Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic in Group A for the June 8 to July 1 tournament.
Greece was unbeaten in topping its qualifying group, winning seven of 10 matches and relegating Croatia to the playoffs.
AEK Athens striker Nikos Lymberopoulos is in the squad after scoring seven Greek league goals. The 36-year-old joins Georgios Samaras in attack, with the Celtic player having kept his place despite scoring just once in eight qualifiers.
"We've had problems developing our attacks. We need to keep possession more and be patient," Santos said after Saturday's match. "What happened with Kone is a shame. Sometimes in the heat of the match we lose our minds." Greece plays Armenia in a friendly on Thursday before heading to Poland.