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Balaj pounces as Albania stun Portugal

Published: Sunday 7 September 2014, 23.30CET
Portugal 0-1 Albania
Bekim Balaj volleyed a sensational winner as the visitors began UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying with a historic win against an under-strength Portugal.
by Pedro Marques

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Match statistics

PortugalAlbania

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)60
 
40
Total attempts19
 
2
on target4
 
2
off target12
 
0
blocked3
 
0
against woodwork1
 
0
Corners10
 
2
Offsides3
 
1
Yellow cards1
 
6
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed9
 
15
Fouls suffered13
 
8

Standings

SSI Err
Published: Sunday 7 September 2014, 23.30CET

Balaj pounces as Albania stun Portugal

Portugal 0-1 Albania
Bekim Balaj volleyed a sensational winner as the visitors began UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying with a historic win against an under-strength Portugal.

Albania beat Portugal for the first time in their history at the sixth attempt
Bekim Balaj volleys in the shock winner on 52 minutes
André Gomes and Ricardo Horta make their debuts for Portugal
Nani receives his 75th cap for the hosts in Aveiro
Next games: Albania v Denmark (11 October), Denmark v Portugal (14 October)

Expectations were confounded in Aveiro as Albania stunned an under-strength Portugal side 1-0 to send shockwaves through UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group I.

Missing Cristiano Ronaldo among other first-choice regulars, Portugal struggled to find their rhythm and paid the price when Bekim Balaj volleyed in shortly after the restart. Debutant Ricardo Horta struck the crossbar at the other end, but that was as close as the hosts came to salvaging a point.

Portugal dominated the game from the start yet were unable to create any real danger until the 20th minute, when Vieirinha headed a João Moutinho free-kick straight at Etrit Berisha. Pepe then missed the target from another header with half an hour gone, and Nani had a shot deflected out for a corner, before Pepe nodded the last chance of the half wide of a post.

If that spelt frustration for the 22,000 fans at the Estádio Municipal de Aveiro, worse was to come on 52 minutes when Giovanni de Biasi's Albania went ahead. The visitors had been restricted to counterattacks in the opening period but went forward after the break and duly took the lead. Odise Roshi crossed from the right and Balaj did the rest with a spectacular volley.

The Portuguese reacted with Nani, Ricardo Costa and Fábio Coentrão all going close, while substitute Horta came on for his maiden cap and fired against the bar with 21 minutes remaining. However, Paulo Bento's men were unable to improve on that and will need to respond against Denmark on 14 October, three days after Albania tackle the Scandinavian side.

Last updated: 05/06/16 15.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000446/match=2013821/postmatch/report/index.html#albania+stun+portugal

Lineups

Portugal

Portugal

Albania

Albania

12
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
1
BerishaEtrit Berisha (GK)
Yellow Card70
3
PepePepe
3
LenjaniErmir Lenjani
Substitution75
5
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
4
HysajElseid Hysaj
6
William CarvalhoWilliam Carvalho
Substitution56
5
CanaLorik Cana (C)
8
João MoutinhoJoão Moutinho
7
AgolliAnsi Agolli
9
ÉderÉder
13
KukeliBurim Kukeli
Substitution66
10
VieirinhaVieirinha
Substitution46
14
XhakaTaulant Xhaka
Yellow Card34
13
Ricardo CostaRicardo Costa
Substitution73
15
MavrajMërgim Mavraj
Yellow Card67
15
André GomesAndré Gomes
19
BalajBekim Balaj
Goal52
Substitution82
17
NaniNani (C)
Yellow Card69
21
RoshiOdise Roshi
Yellow Card4
21
João PereiraJoão Pereira
22
AbrashiAmir Abrashi
Yellow Card21

Substitutes

1
EduardoEduardo (GK)
12
ShehiOrges Shehi (GK)
22
Anthony LopesAnthony Lopes (GK)
2
LilaAndi Lila
Substitution75
2
André AlmeidaAndré Almeida
6
ÇurriDebatik Çurri
4
Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
Substitution73
8
ShalaHerolind Shala
7
Pedro TibaPedro Tiba
9
KapllaniEdmond Kapllani
11
Ricardo HortaRicardo Horta
Substitution56
11
VilaEmilian Vila
14
Luís NetoLuís Neto
16
ÇikalleshiSokol Çikalleshi
Substitution82
16
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
17
GashiShkëlzen Gashi
18
Rúben VezoRúben Vezo
18
SalihiHamdi Salihi
19
AntunesAntunes
20
KaçeErgys Kaçe
Substitution66
Yellow Card69
20
Adrien SilvaAdrien Silva
23
VajushiArmando Vajushi
23
Ivan CavaleiroIvan Cavaleiro
Substitution46

Coach

Paulo Bento (POR) Giovanni de Biasi (ALB)

Referee

Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

Assistant referees

Frédéric Cano (FRA), Guillaume Debart (FRA)

Fourth official

Stephan Luzi (FRA)

Additional assistant referees

Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Benoît Millot (FRA)

Legend:

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