Armando Sadiku’s first-half header stunned the Romanians as Albania left Lyon with a 1-0 win, their first-ever victory at a major tournament.
The win eliminates Romania from EURO 2016, while the Albanians are still alive and can possibly advance as a third-place side.
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Romania saw more of the ball in the first half, but it was Albania who created better of chances. Ermir Lenjani should have put the Albanians ahead in the 23rd minute, but the Rennes midfielder skied a wide-open opportunity over the bar from close range as the match remained scoreless.
Albania would find their long-awaited goal just before halftime when Armando Sadiku headed home in the 43rd minute. The Romanian goalkeeper misjudged a cross from the right wing, allowing Sadiku to lob a header into the far post, scoring Albania’s first-ever goal at a major tournament.
Romania continued to control possession after the break, although were unable to penetrate a tight Albanian defense fighting for the biggest win in their nation’s history.
Despite the pressure, the Albanians didn’t panic and surprisingly found themselves close to a second goal late in the match as Romania pushed for an equalizer. As the final whistle blew, celebrations erupted at Parc Olympique Lyonnais as Albania must now hope other results go their way to advance.