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Marica earns Romania sweet revenge in Greece

Greece 0-1 Romania
Visiting captain Ciprian Marica scored an early penalty but was sent off as his team survived a late scare to edge the Group F opener in Piraeus.

Marica earns Romania sweet revenge in Greece
Marica earns Romania sweet revenge in Greece ©UEFA.com

Romania look the better team all evening and deservedly get the victory
The only goal comes via the spot from Ciprian Marica who is later sent off
Claudio Ranieri kicks off his Greece tenure with a defeat
Greece's Vassilis Torossidis denied by the woodwork two minutes from time
Next games: Finland v Greece, Romania v Hungary (11 October)

Ten months after losing their FIFA World Cup play-off to Greece, ten-man Romania beat the same opponents 1-0 in Piraeus to wrest the early initiative in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F thanks to a tenth-minute penalty from Ciprian Marica.

The visitors looked more comfortable from the first whistle and got their reward after José Holebas fouled Alexandru Chipciu in the area, Romania's captain Marica slotting home the penalty. On the day of Claudio Ranieri's debut as Greece coach, the hosts tried to react and chased an equaliser, yet found themselves frustrated by Victor Piturca's tactics in midfield.

In a game played behind closed doors, the trademark asset of the Greek team – their defence – were looking nervous, inviting the Romanians to attack. Indeed Greece survived a late first-half scare when Orestis Karnezis saved Gabriel Tamaş's effort.

Marica's dismissal for a second bookable offence eight minutes into the second period changed the complexion of the match – albeit superficially, with Greece enjoying more possession but failing to make it count. However they got a glorious chance two minutes from time, seeing Vassilis Torossidis's header denied by the woodwork.

The resulting away victory rewarded an impressive Romanian side's determination to survive the last 40 minutes at a numerical disadvantage, with the crossbar depriving Ranieri of a point.