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Albania await their fate after historic victory

Published: Sunday 19 June 2016, 22.05CET
Romania 0-1 Albania
Armando Sadiku headed Albania's first goal at a major finals to give his side a chance of progress while eliminating Romania.
by Chris Burke at Stade de Lyon

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Match statistics

RomaniaAlbania

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)59
 
41
Total attempts16
 
14
on target3
 
6
off target8
 
6
blocked5
 
2
against woodwork1
 
0
Corners2
 
6
Offsides1
 
5
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
12
Fouls suffered12
 
13

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 16/06/2017 10:40 CET
SSI Err
Published: Sunday 19 June 2016, 22.05CET

Albania await their fate after historic victory

Romania 0-1 Albania
Armando Sadiku headed Albania's first goal at a major finals to give his side a chance of progress while eliminating Romania.

  • Armando Sadiku heads in Albania's first ever major tournament goal
  • Florin Andone hits crossbar for Romania in second half
  • Albania must wait to see if they are one of four best third-placed sides
  • Romania heading home after finishing bottom of Group A
  • All the action, analysis and reaction from Stade de Lyon

 
Debutants Albania must wait to learn if they will progress to the UEFA EURO 2016 knockout phase after leapfrogging Group A rivals Romania into third with a historic 1-0 victory – their first at a major finals.

Both sides realistically needed a win in Lyon to keep their chances alive, and it was Romania who began with the greater urgency as they chased a potential runners-up spot. Albania, meanwhile, could only hope for a last-16 berth as one of the four best third-placed teams, but that prospect looked slim as Romania let fly with a series of attempts from distance.

Bogdan Stancu did better, meeting a dropping ball with a superb volley, and although Etrit Berisha was equal to it, the Albania No1's team-mates appeared decidedly nervy in front of him.

That was all about to change. And, curiously enough, it was an offside opportunity that switched the momentum, Ermir Lenjani having his blushes spared by a raised flag after blazing over from right in front of goal.

Having come so close, Albania's players immediately grew in confidence and their opponents struggled to adapt. It was no great shock, then, when Armando Sadiku headed in their first-ever major tournament goal close to half-time, connecting with Ledian Memushaj's cross as goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu came out to claim.

The emotional celebrations told their own story, but Albania still had a job to do after the break. Save for a scare when substitute Florin Andone fired against the crossbar, they did it – and the best may be yet to come.

Man of the match: Arlind Ajeti (Albania)
Surprisingly left in the starting line-up despite the availability of Lorik Cana following the captain's suspension, Ajeti was rewarded for his excellent performance against France. How he repaid coach Gianni De Biasi's faith, contributing to a sturdy defensive display alongside fellow centre-back Mërgim Mavraj, producing four clearances, three interceptions, two tackles and a vital block.

Albania earn respect
The tournament's expansion to 24 teams was always intended to give Europe's smaller nations a chance to shine, and Albania have shown that the so-called minnows can hold their own. So unfortunate not to claim a point in their opening two games, this time their tireless and valiant efforts paid dividends. Cheered on by a sea of red shirts in the stands, the players and their fans have been a welcome presence in France and can be rightly proud – whatever happens next.

Landmark to forget for Iordănescu
Anghel Iordănescu waved the statistic aside yesterday, but this was not how he would have wanted to commemorate his 100th match in the Romania dugout, either as head or assistant coach. The man who took the Tricolorii to the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals will be crestfallen after finishing bottom of Group A with a solitary point on the board, though in mitigation he has not had the likes of Gheorghe Hagi at his disposal in his third spell. There is much work to be done.

Albania hero Sadiku hails 'emotional night'

Team reporters' views from Stade de Lyon

Paul Zaharia, Romania (@UEFAcomPaulDZ)
I don't know whether a draw would have been a fairer result, but fact is Romania lost for the first time to Albania in 68 years – and possibly at the most important moment for both sides. The Romanians dominated the opening 20–25 minutes yet then surrendered control to the more vigorous Albanians. Only in the middle of the second half did they begin to press, desperately, but overall they lacked imagination, which neither Nicolae Stanciu nor Lucian Sănmărtean could provide.

Fatjon Pandovski, Albania (@UEFAcomTonyP)
Albania have their first victory of UEFA EURO 2016 and are still alive, waiting for the rest of matchday three to unfold to see what transpires. Albania started slowly, as they had done in both previous games, but they grew into the contest and finally took one of their opportunities to notch a maiden tournament goal. Surprisingly sticking to the defence fielded against France – which meant Cana not coming back in – De Biasi also kept the same plan he had for the last two fixtures: boss the midfield, play compact and be dangerous on the break using the flanks. It worked well for a team nobody was expecting to score even a single goal.

Last updated: 12/07/16 17.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017894/postmatch/report/index.html#albania+await+their+fate

Lineups

Romania

Romania

Albania

Albania

12
TătăruşanuCiprian Tătăruşanu (GK)
1
BerishaEtrit Berisha (GK)
2
MăţelAlexandru Măţel
Yellow Card54
2
LilaAndi Lila
5
HobanOvidiu Hoban
3
LenjaniErmir Lenjani
Substitution77
6
ChiricheşVlad Chiricheş (C)
4
HysajElseid Hysaj
Yellow Card90+4
9
AlibecDenis Alibec
Substitution57
7
AgolliAnsi Agolli (C)
10
StanciuNicolae Stanciu
8
BashaMigjen Basha
Yellow Card6
Substitution83
18
PrepeliţăAndrei Prepeliţă
Substitution46
9
Memushaj                      Ledian Memushaj
Yellow Card85
19
StancuBogdan Stancu
10
SadikuArmando Sadiku
Goal43
Substitution59
20
PopaAdrian Popa
Substitution68
15
MavrajMërgim Mavraj
21
GrigoreDragoş Grigore
18
Arlind AjetiArlind Ajeti
22
SăpunaruCristian Săpunaru
Yellow Card85
22
AbrashiAmir Abrashi

Substitutes

1
PantilimonCostel Pantilimon (GK)
12
ShehiOrges Shehi (GK)
23
LungSilviu Lung (GK)
23
HoxhaAlban Hoxha (GK)
3
RaţRăzvan Raţ
5
CanaLorik Cana
Substitution83
4
MoţiCosmin Moţi
6
VeseliFrédéric Veseli
7
ChipciuAlexandru Chipciu
11
GashiShkëlzen Gashi
8
PintiliiMihai Pintilii
14
XhakaTaulant Xhaka
11
TorjeGabriel Torje
Substitution57
Yellow Card90+3
16
ÇikalleshiSokol Çikalleshi
13
KeșerüClaudiu Keșerü
17
AlijiNaser Aliji
14
AndoneFlorin Andone
Substitution68
19
BalajBekim Balaj
Substitution59
15
GămanValerică Găman
20
KaçeErgys Kaçe
16
FilipSteliano Filip
21
RoshiOdise Roshi
Substitution77
17
SânmărteanLucian Sânmărtean
Substitution46

Coach

Anghel Iordănescu (ROU) Giovanni de Biasi (ALB)

Referee

Pavel Královec (CZE)

Assistant referees

Roman Slyško (SVK), Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)

Fourth official

Tasos Sidiropoulos (GRE)

Additional assistant referees

Petr Ardeleanu (CZE), Michal Paták (CZE)

Legend:

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