Slovenia kept their FIFA World Cup qualifying chances alive and dealt a blow to Albania's hopes of finishing first in Group E thanks to Kevin Kampl's 19th-minute goal.
Kampl's long-range effort and Samir Handanovič's fantastic performance in the Slovenia goal kept out Albania, who could have moved to within two points of leaders Switzerland, held 4-4 by Iceland. Instead they are down to third, five points behind Switzerland, one adrift of Norway, level with Iceland and only one in front of Slovenia in a section with five possible qualifiers and three rounds of matches remaining.
The visitors, with fervent support in the stands, began slightly better but on 15 minutes Slovenia sounded a warning when René Krhin's header went close. Four minutes later, Kampl let fly from 25 metres and found the top left-hand corner of Etrit Berisha's goal.
FC Salzburg midfielder Kampl almost had another soon after, but missed the target and Albania pushed forward only to fail to find the target with their shooting. Their accuracy improved after the break, but FC Internazionale Milano goalkeeper Handanovič was in inspired form.
Valdet Rama, Hamdi Salihi and Vullnet Basha were all denied, and although Slovenia's counterattacks came to nothing, the points were theirs. On Tuesday they are in Cyprus while Albania need a result in Iceland.