Sporting Kansas City forward Marinos Tzionis scored Saturday afternoon in the Cyprus Men's National Team's UEFA Nations League fixture against Greece. The 18th-minute goal proved to be the difference in the contest as the Cypriots held the Greeks scoreless in a 1-0 victory. Tzionis went 64 minutes, converting his only shot and completing 82 percent (14/17) of his passes.
After helping Cyprus to avoid relegation from Leauge C in the UEFA Nations League last campaign with a goal in the team's playout against Estonia on March 29, Tzionis' game-winner on Saturday propelled Cyprus to their first Nations League win of the season. The first-year Sporting KC winger has now been capped 19 times by the Cyprus senior team after debuting in September 2020.
Despite Greece controlling possession for 71 percent of the match and firing five shots on target, it was the hosts Cyprus that found the goal. In the 18th minute, Tzionis made a brilliant run off the ball, splitting two defenders in the process. Midfielder Grigoris Kastanos picked out the run of Tzionis and played him the perfect pass behind the Greek backline. The forward ran onto the ball, peaked at the charging keeper and gently tucked it past him into the far netting.
Tzionis and Cyprus would defend their net for the remaining 72 minutes of soccer and claimed all three points from the fixture. Cyprus has one final UEFA Nations League fixture remaining, a crucial road matchup with Kosovo on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1:45 p.m. CT. With a win, Cyprus would jump Kosovo and avoid a relegation play-out series in March 2023.
In his first year in Kansas City, Tzionis has accumulated two goals in 28 appearances across all competitions, tallying the 99th-minute leveler in Sporting's Open Cup Round of 32 win over FC Dallas as well. Following his match with Kosovo on Tuesday,
Tzionis will rejoin Sporting Kansas City for their final two matches of the 2022 season. Sporting's home finale and annual Fan Appreciation Match will take place on Oct. 2 against the Seattle Sounders at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets are available for purchase at SeatGeek.com.