Greece produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the European Championships when they beat France, the holders, to claim a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2004.

Angelos Haristeas was the hero for Greece, heading home midway through the second half, to stun the favourites and delight their supporters in the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon.

For Jacques Santini’s team of who so much was expected, the defeat represents a miserable end to his two-year spell in charge. For all their highly-vaunted superstars, France looked like a team in decline, and a well-organised Greece side were full value for their win.

Otto Rehhagel’s side began the match brightly and didn’t appear in awe of their opponents. Nikolaidis had the first clear cut chance, but his shot was hit straight at Barthez.

On 15 minutes, an inswinging free-kick caused havoc in the French penalty area and Barthez was relieved to clutch the ball before it rolled over the line.

At the other end, France were playing in fits and starts. Henry headed wide after good work from Lizarazu but despite their comfort on the ball, the Greeks were providing stiff resistance.

Talismanic playmaker, Zinedine Zidane, who had proved to be such an influential figure in the group games, was an anonymous figure, drifting in and out of the game, and unable to carve open any chances for France.

After the break there was more pace to the holders play. Henry shot wide and Lizarazu made a thrusting surge into the penalty area only for his shot to be blocked.

However, just as France appeared to be gaining the upper hand, the unthinkable happened and Greece, who had never won a match at the European Championships before, took the lead.

The impressive Zagorakis was the source, skipping past Lizarazu down the left before delivering a pinpoint cross for Haristeas to head home.

Santini brought on Saha for the ineffective Trezeguet and sacrificed Dacourt for Wiltord, but the anticipated onslaught never materialised.

Henry had the best chance when he climbed to head home Thuram’s cross but the striker guided his header inches wide.

With time running out, the French never looked like breaking down a well-organised Greek defence and ultimately the holders went out of the competition with a whimper.

Greece meanwhile can celebrate their greatest ever result. Written off before the competition started they now stand one match away from a place in the final. It is a phenomenal achievement for both coach and players.

b>Quarter final

France 0-1 Greece


Greece: Angelos Haristeas 65

Halftime: 0-0


France: 16-Fabien Barthez; 5-William Gallas; 15-Lilian Thuram, 13-Mikael Silvestre, 3-Bixente Lizarazu; 10-Zinedine Zidane, 17-Olivier Dacourt (11-Sylvain Wiltord 72), 6-Claude Makelele, 7-Robert Pires (14-Jerome Rothen 79); 12-Thierry Henry, 20-David Trezeguet (9-Louis Saha 72).

Greece: -Antonis Nikopolidis; 2-Yourkas Seitaridis, 19-Michalis Kapsis, 5-Traianos Dellas, 14-Takis Fyssas; 20-Giorgos Karagounis, 21-Costas Katsouranis, 7-Theodoros Zagorakis, 6-Angelos Basinas (10-Vassilis Tsartas 85), 11-Demis Nikolaidis (23-Vassilis Lakis 61); 9-Angelos Haristeas,

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)