|12||Berisha (GK)||1||Jarstein (GK)|
|1||Ujkani (GK)||22||Hansen (GK)|
|Giovanni de Biasi (ALB)||Egil Olsen (NOR)|
|William Collum (SCO)|
|G||Latvia||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|C||Republic of Ireland||Faroe Islands|
Albania were denied the chance to go top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E as a late Tom Høgli goal gave Norway a point in Tirana.
Valdet Rama had handed Giovanni de Biasi's side a 41st-minute lead at the Stadiumi Kombëtar Qemal Stafa and it seemed his goal would be enough to take Albania above Switzerland at the head of the table. Norway and Høgli had other ideas, though, the defender's 87th-minute intervention keeping his fourth-placed team in touch in a tight section.
Albania started the evening on nine points – two behind the Swiss yet two above their opponents – and after Migjen Basha, Hamdi Salihi and Edgar Çani had gone close, that advantage looked like increasing. Four minutes before half-time Rama, making his first appearance of qualification with Lorik Cana and Andi Lila suspended and Burim Kukeli and Alban Meha injured, sprinted down the left and cut inside to shoot past Rune Jarstein in the Norway goal.
With a vociferous crowd – including President Bujar Nishani and Prime Minister Sali Berisha – backing them, Albania came close to a clinching second midway through the second period, but this time Jarstein was able to stretch to touch Salihi's header onto the crossbar. That save proved crucial. With time running out, Høgli nodded an equaliser from a corner to lift Norway to eight points. They remain two shy of Albania who, in turn, are now one behind the Swiss, at home to Cyprus on Saturday.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.