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Switzerland hold on against ten-man Albania

Published: Saturday 11 June 2016, 17.00CET
Albania 0-1 Switzerland
Fabian Schär's fifth-minute goal and some late heroics from Yann Sommer earned the Swiss victory after a first-half red card.
by John Atkin at Stade Bollaert-Delelis

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Match statistics

AlbaniaSwitzerland

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)45
 
55
Total attempts7
 
17
on target2
 
7
off target2
 
5
blocked3
 
5
against woodwork0
1
Corners5
 
4
Offsides2
 
6
Yellow cards5
 
2
Red Cards1
 
0
Fouls committed10
 
17
Fouls suffered17
 
9

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 16/06/2017 10:40 CET
SSI Err
Published: Saturday 11 June 2016, 17.00CET

Switzerland hold on against ten-man Albania

Albania 0-1 Switzerland
Fabian Schär's fifth-minute goal and some late heroics from Yann Sommer earned the Swiss victory after a first-half red card.

  • Switzerland record only their second victory in ten EURO finals matches
  • Albania play over half the match with ten men after captain Lorik Cana is dismissed
  • Yann Sommer denies Shkëlzen Gashi and Armando Sadiku late on
  • Fabian Schär heads Switzerland in front early on in Albania's first major finals game
  • Albania's Taulant Xhaka up against his brother, Switzerland midfielder Granit


Switzerland made a winning start to UEFA EURO 2016 but the ten men of Albania gave them an almighty scare in the teams' first Group A outing.

The match was only five minutes old when the Nati capped a bright start with the only goal, Fabian Schär rising to head in Xherdan Shaqiri's corner.

The margin of victory looked set to be greater when Lorik Cana received a second yellow card nine minutes before half-time, but Albania dug in well and by the final whistle the Swiss were hanging on.

Albania will look back on several missed chances to cap their finals debut in style, most notably for Armando Sadiku. He squandered a golden opportunity before Cana's dismissal when a trademark Elseid Hysaj long ball sent him one-on-one with Yann Sommer.

The keeper repeated the feat in the closing stages as Albania, spirited along by their noisy fans, threw everything at Switzerland. Then, with three minutes left, came the best chance of all but Shkëlzen Gashi, with time and space, could not find a way past Sommer.

Switzerland got the win they so desired. They have yet to make it through the group stage in three finals appearances. After holding on here, they may not get a better opportunity.

Relief for Granit Xhaka

Man of the match: Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)
"It was special for my family here with two brothers playing on different sides," said Xhaka. "It was great for us, too – if perhaps a bit more special for me than him." The Switzerland midfielder created three chances and made 100 accurate passes, 25 of which came in the attacking third. He also won five aerial duels and three tackles.

Brothers in arms
For the first time in a EURO match, brothers lined up against each other. Gianni De Biasi added more spice by starting Taulant Xhaka on the right rather than his usual central role, placing him in direct opposition to younger brother Granit. There was certainly added needle, with extra effort tangible whenever they clashed – like most siblings. But love conquered all with a firm embrace at full time: a nice end for their torn parents.

United we stand
Five of Switzerland's starting XI were either from Kosovar-Albanian families or of Albanian extraction, and four of Albania's side were born or brought up in Switzerland. Whisper it, but a few Albanians in the stands were seen mouthing the Swiss anthem before delivering their own at full gusto. 'United we stand' said a banner in the Albania end. It seemed fitting for two teams so interlinked.

Elseid Hysaj praise for 'amazing' Albania fans

Opening night nerves?
It was a decidedly nervy start by Albania, missing tackles and headers, and struggling to find their shape. Not so Switzerland: Sommer almost took out a passing helicopter with the force of one clearance and further forward they were similarly sure-footed and within a blink of an eye they led. From then on Albania were playing catch-up.

Reporters' views from the Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Matthew Howarth, Switzerland (@UEFAcomMattH)
Switzerland fully deserved the three points in Lens, but their failure to kill the game off in the second half almost came back to haunt them. Substitute Gashi very nearly salvaged an unlikely point for Albania in the dying stages, but a draw would not have been a fair reflection of the Nati's dominance at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Fatjon Pandovski, Albania (@UEFAcomTonyP)
It is a case of what might have been for Gianni De Biasi's side. They froze early on and their Achilles heel was exposed with a goal from a corner – there's a real defensive weakness from set pieces. But there are so many positives too. For 54 minutes Albania were down to ten men and trailing 1-0 yet they could still have equalised. They might even have won it!

Last updated: 12/07/16 18.11CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017878/postmatch/report/index.html#switzerland+edge+albania

Lineups

Albania

Albania

Switzerland

Switzerland

1
BerishaEtrit Berisha (GK)
1
SommerYann Sommer (GK)
3
LenjaniErmir Lenjani
2
LichtsteinerStephan Lichtsteiner (C)
4
HysajElseid Hysaj
9
SeferovićHaris Seferović
5
CanaLorik Cana (C)
Yellow Card23
Red Card36
10
XhakaGranit Xhaka
7
AgolliAnsi Agolli
11
BehramiValon Behrami
Yellow Card66
10
SadikuArmando Sadiku
Substitution82
13
RodríguezRicardo Rodríguez
13
KukeliBurim Kukeli
Yellow Card89
15
DžemailiBlerim Džemaili
Substitution75
14
XhakaTaulant Xhaka
Substitution61
18
MehmediAdmir Mehmedi
Substitution61
15
MavrajMërgim Mavraj
Yellow Card90+2
20
DjourouJohan Djourou
21
RoshiOdise Roshi
Substitution73
22
SchärFabian Schär
Goal5
Yellow Card14
22
AbrashiAmir Abrashi
23
ShaqiriXherdan Shaqiri
Substitution88

Substitutes

12
ShehiOrges Shehi (GK)
12
HitzMarwin Hitz (GK)
23
HoxhaAlban Hoxha (GK)
21
BürkiRoman Bürki (GK)
2
LilaAndi Lila
3
MoubandjeFrançois Moubandje
6
VeseliFrédéric Veseli
4
ElvediNico Elvedi
8
BashaMigjen Basha
5
Von BergenSteve von Bergen
9
Memushaj                      Ledian Memushaj
6
M. LangMichael Lang
11
GashiShkëlzen Gashi
Substitution82
7
EmboloBreel Embolo
Substitution61
16
ÇikalleshiSokol Çikalleshi
Substitution73
8
FreiFabian Frei
Substitution75
17
AlijiNaser Aliji
14
ZakariaDenis Zakaria
18
Arlind AjetiArlind Ajeti
16
FernandesGelson Fernandes
Substitution88
19
BalajBekim Balaj
17
TarashajShani Tarashaj
20
KaçeErgys Kaçe
Substitution61
Yellow Card63
19
DerdiyokEren Derdiyok

Coach

Giovanni de Biasi (ALB) Vladimir Petković (SUI)

Referee

Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

Assistant referees

Roberto Alonso (ESP), Juan Yuste (ESP)

Fourth official

Pol van Boekel (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP), Carlos Del Cerro (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution