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Albania enjoy afterglow of Portugal success

Published: Monday 8 September 2014, 0.59CET
Albania captain Lorik Cana revelled in "a dream start" for his team following a win in Portugal, which left Nani urging his side to "grow up as a team and as individuals".
by Hugo Pietra
SSI Err
Published: Monday 8 September 2014, 0.59CET

Albania enjoy afterglow of Portugal success

Albania captain Lorik Cana revelled in "a dream start" for his team following a win in Portugal, which left Nani urging his side to "grow up as a team and as individuals".

Bekim Balaj pleased with "striker's goal" that gave Albania victory
Lorik Cana hails a "dream start" after the visitors' shock win
Nani urges Portugal to "grow up as a team and as individuals"
"People have a right to be disappointed," says Paulo Bento

Bekim Balaj, Albania forward
We got three points in Portugal [which] maybe nobody expected. We came to Portugal to try our best and I think we did a great job tonight as a team. We hope to play like we did against Portugal in every match.

It was a striker's goal. I tried to stop the ball, but the shot was pure instinct.

Lorik Cana, Albania midfielder
It was a dream start, a perfect start for us. We had to start qualification away from home in Portugal, the group favourites – and I still think they are the group favourites. It was a historic result to win against a big team in Europe, so I am very happy for my country and for my people. They were all looking to the national team. This victory is for them and we will try to do the best that we can until the end of qualification.

Lorik Cana speaks

It's a great start, but we have a tough group: we have big teams like Denmark, Armenia and Serbia, so starting here gives us a good opportunity to fight until the end.

We scored a goal and defended until the end with great spirit. We have a lot of young players and I hope we can keep on like this.

Giovanni de Biasi, Albania coach
It's a historic result – a wonderful win. Albania defended very well. Cristiano Ronaldo's absence was a huge stroke of luck, because he is the best player in the world, along with Lionel Messi. When you win against an opponent that is in that FIFA ranking position [11th], that's very good.

Nani, Portugal forward
We needed to be more confident in attack. We were not too good in between the lines and we didn't believe enough that we could harm our opponents. We were calm before the goal, and after that moment it became more difficult to overturn the result.

We have plenty of matches ahead of us and we have to win them all. We need to develop our mentality and grow up as a team and individuals, and we have to believe that we'll manage to win the games to come.

Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
It was a very bad result. We opted to play with a three-man defence in the second half. People have a right to be upset. I'm not making excuses. It wasn't a lack of commitment on the part of my players, but we weren't efficient enough while Albania were very efficient.

We are all frustrated because of the result. We could have done better, even though I think we were not that bad. It was a first appearance for some players, like Ricardo Horta and André Gomes, and they played well. Ivan Cavaleiro playing near Éder helped us to get more presence in the box.

Last updated: 05/06/16 15.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000446/match=2013821/postmatch/quotes/index.html#albania+enjoy+afterglow