Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first-ever match in European football ended in disappointment as they lost 1-0 to Astra Giurgiu in the Highlands. John Hughes' side started the Europa League second qualifying round first-leg tie well and their composure in passing the ball about belied their lack of European experience. However, a Constantin Budescu free-kick after 24 minutes was enough to separate the sides and dampen the enthusiasm around Caley's first appearance against European opposition.Romanian side Astra, who played Scottish champions Celtic in the group stages of the competition last season, looked sloppy in possession in the early stages and Ryan Christie's first effort after eight minutes was deflected wide. Despite Inverness forcing the issue at the Caledonian Stadium, it was the away side who took the lead through a contentious free-kick when debutant goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams could only get a hand to Budescu's brilliant effort from just outside the box. The Scottish Cup holders were the better side in the first half but chances were at a premium. However, Aaron Doran did bring out a good save from Silviu Lung Jr in the Astra goal after 35 minutes following some neat build-up play.