Greece are in control of their FIFA World Cup play-off tie with Romania after a 3-1 first-leg victory in Piraeus.
Olympiacos FC forward Kostas Mitroglou continued his fine UEFA Champions League form with the 14th-minute opener in his home stadium. Romania promptly responded through Bogdan Stancu – the first goal Greece have conceded since 22 March – though they were level for only two minutes before Dimitris Salpingidis re-established the hosts' lead.
Mitroglou's second after the interval and a late red card for Romania's substitute Costin Lazăr means it is advantage Greece ahead of Tuesday's decider in Bucharest.
Mitroglou set Fernando Santos's team on their way with a cool right-footed finish following a clever lobbed pass from Salpingidis. Romania's reply was swift. Gabriel Torje delivered a free-kick and Stancu angled a header past Orestis Karnezis.
Parity, though, was fleeting as Salpingidis tapped in his 13th international goal, the PAOK FC forward getting on the end of a right-wing cross by Vassilis Torossidis. Mitroglou's predatory instincts were in evidence again midway through the second half when Kostas Katsouranis nodded the ball down and the No9 shot left-footed, with the aid of a deflection off Dorin Goian, into the net.
Katsouranis and Mitroglou squandered close-range opportunities to make the return leg a potentially more comfortable affair, while at the other end only the alertness of Salpingidis denied Goian a simple finish. In added time, Giorgios Samaras headed narrowly over the crossbar, Lazăr having been dismissed moments earlier for his second late bookable offence.