Greece jolted the European Championship yet again, beating the Czech Republic, 1-0, in overtime yesterday on a header by Traianos Dellas.
The Greeks, winless in other major soccer appearances, will play Portugal in Lisbon on Sunday for the title.
"It is a dream," Greek player Stylianos Giannakopoulos said. "It is like we are sleeping and we won't wake up."
This marks the first time in 40 years a Euro final will be staged between first-time finalists.
Greece also downed defending champion France, 1-0, in the quarterfinals and Portugal, 2-1, in the opener.
The Greeks were winless in the 1994 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship, but they clearly are making the most of this appearance on soccer's international stage.
"We believed in it from the beginning and we achieved it," Dellas said. "Back home in Greece this night also belongs to them."
Dellas discounted the win three weeks ago against Portugal.
"A lot has changed in the middle and we will face a completely different Portugal team -- stronger," he said. "They will find a Greek team even better than in the opening match."
Greece is the first team to beat both the host and the defending champion in a major championship. Now comes Portugal, playing outstanding soccer.
"We have to do everything to be ready," Giannakopoulos said.
Dellas scored on a short header off a corner kick by Vasilios Tsiartas. The goal came just seconds before the first 15 minutes of overtime was to end. Had the period ended scoreless, it would have gone to another 15 minutes.
"I believe we played very cleverly," Dellas said. "We shut out all their strong points."
The Czechs were without captain Pavel Nedved after he injured his right knee in the 33rd minute, colliding with Costas Katsouranis. He went off on a stretcher, limped back on the field in the 36th and hobbled until he was replaced in the 40th minute by Vladimir Smicer.
Greece withstood early pressure as the Czech Republic took control. After just more than two minutes against the defensive Greeks, Tomas Rosicky's shot from 20 yards hit the crossbar.
-- From News Services