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Greece thump Kazakhstan 5-0 to reach Euro playoff final

Greece thump Kazakhstan 5-0 to reach Euro playoff final

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Greece struck twice early with captain Bakasetas getting a powerful penalty shot in the ninth minute

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ATHENS, Greece (Reuters) - Greece thrashed Kazakhstan 5-0 in their Euro 2024 play-off semi-final on Thursday, booking a place in one of Tuesday's three play-off finals and coming close to a qualification berth after 12 years.

Greece struck twice early with captain Anastasios Bakasetas getting a powerful penalty shot in the ninth minute after defender Bagdat Kairov had fouled Dimitrios Pelkas, who six minutes later doubled the lead with a header that set the raucous home crowd cheering.

The struggling visitors failed to find the net and were outplayed again when Giorgios Masouras broke quickly and crossed for Fotis Ioannidis to finish from close range in the 37th minute.

Dimitrios Kourbelis's header gave the hosts a fourth goal, five minutes before the break, and a late own goal by Alexandr Marochkin made it five for Greece, who will face Georgia on Tuesday.