ATHENS (Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri suffered defeat in his first competitive match in charge of Greece as 10-man Romania overcame the Italian’s team 1-0 in their Euro 2016 Group F qualifying opener in Athens on Sunday.
Ciprian Marica’s 10th-minute penalty put the Romanians ahead inside an eerily silent Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, with 2004 champions Greece playing behind closed doors after being punished for previous crowd disturbances.
The Romania skipper was then dismissed in the 54th minute after picking up a second booking for a high challenge on Andreas Samaris, but a disappointing Greece struggledto create chances even with the extra player.
The attacking triumvirate of Kostas Mitroglou, Giorgos Samaras and newly-appointed captain Dimitris Salpingidis failed to trouble a Romanian backline that Greece had comfortably dispatched almost 10 months ago.
In the play-offs for the World Cup, the Greeks had secured their trip to Brazil 4-2 on aggregate.
Vassilis Torosidis came closest to levelling the match, the Roma defender heading a free kick from Panagiotis Kone against the crossbar with three minutes left.
Writing by Graham Wood; Editing by Steve Tongue