In what was being billed as a special game in the lead up to kick-off, England were handed a night to forget as Greece found the net seven times in their opening fixture for the ElectroCity FIFA 20 European Championships.
The home side were under pressure from the start, AEK’s Petros Mantalos threading through to Giannis Fetfatzidis about 25 yards out from goal. Skinning John Stones and Joe Gomez, Fetfatzidis hit a perfectly timed strike off his left to leave Jordan Pickford beaten at full stretch (5).
Pickford redeemed himself at full stretch again (18), denying Koulouris from close range.
Two minutes later, they were in trouble again. Joe Gomez brought Fetfatzidis down in the box to set up Koulouris for his first of the night (20, pen), curled into the top left corner.
Gomez was heading for the tunnel inside the half hour, the Liverpool man hauling Galanopoulos down needlessly on the edge of the D to get his marching orders, a straight red this time, leaving the Three Lions down to ten men.
Hoffenheim’s Kostas Stafylidis went close with the resulting free kick, Pickford tipping his effort over the bar.
A short clearance from Pickford only landed as far as Hatazidiakos, who found Fetfatzidis in space on the left edge of the English box, he in turn finding Koulouris with room to manoeuvre in the absence of Joe Gomez.
The Toulouse striker didn’t need to be asked twice, spinning on his heel and sending a low strike against the left post, rolling back across the line and over for his second and Greece’s third of the night.
John Stones had no answer for Koulouris’ hat-trick, again a perfectly timed strike from 12 yards rifling past Pickford (37), the wheels firmly off England’s chariot at this stage.
To compound matters, England were reduced to nine men with Danny Rose seeing a straight red for a rash challenge on Fetfatzidis (39).
Jordan Henderson was lucky not to see red three minutes later, the Liverpool skipper clipping Limnios with a late challenge on the edge of the box to hand Greece a second penalty and Koulouris his fourth of the game and second from the spot, leap-frogging Romelu Lukaku at the top of the goal scoring charts.
The second half
Greece would find the net twice more in the second half, Fetfatzidis scoring a brace (47, 83) while Raheem Sterling smashed home a Marcus Rashford rebound (72) to at least take the 0 off the scoreboard.
A night to forget for England, a day to remember for Greece.
Both side are in action again later this week – check the fixtures here.