Greece's Fernando Santos experienced a frustrating competitive debut as coach after his team were held to a 1-1 draw by Georgia in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign Group F opener at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Athens.
Alexander Iashvili's third-minute strike gave Temuri Ketsbaia's Georgia side a surprising early lead and Santos' men struggled to create a goal threat until late in the second half when Nikolaos Spyropoulos salvaged a point with a powerful volley.
The result now increases the pressure on Greece ahead of their trip to face Croatia in Zagreb on Tuesday as Georgia prepare to host Israel on the same day.
Greece looked sluggish early on and were caught cold when Dato Kvirvelia played in Iashvili who outpaced the Greek defence before slotting a low finish through the legs of goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis.
The home side controlled much of the play but could not penetrate their determined visitors' rearguard and were reduced to long-range pot shots with Spyropoulos and captain Georgios Karagounis both trying their luck.
Dimitris Salpingidis then roused the home crowd with a surging run that culminated in a zipping shot which fizzed narrowly wide of the right post.
Central defender Avraam Papadopoulos then got in on the act, sending a vicious 25-yard piledriver goalwards which Nukri Revishvili tipped over the crossbar just before half-time.
A lively start to the second half for Greece saw Theofanis Gekas blast a shot high over the bar before Salpingidis narrowly failed to convert a low cross from Giourkas Seitaridis in the 52nd minute.
Ketsbaia introduced Spartak Moscow teenager Jano Ananidze ten minutes into the second half but the Georgians could not get the ball to him enough and Greece's pressing game finally paid dividends after 72 minutes when, after substitute Kostas Mitroglou's backheel was cleared off the line, left-back Spyropoulos smashed home a volley.
Santos' side pushed for a winner but Mitroglou volleyed over the bar from a difficult angle in the third minute of added time.