Euro 2016: Albania can still make it with a final win against Romania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 16, 2016 09:47

Euro 2016: Albania can still make it with a final win against Romania

TIRANA, June 15 – Albania failed to produce positive results in their first two matches against Switzerland and hosts France but can still hope for qualification to the knockout stage should they win against Romania in their final group stage fixture.

The national side were unlucky both against Switzerland whom they played in 10 men for about 60 minutes and conceded two late goals by hosts France on Wednesday night.

The June 19 fixture against Romania will now be decisive for Albania’s progress in their first-ever participation in a major tournament such as Euro 2016. Albania’s only chance to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams is beating Romania who rank third in Group A after a draw against second-placed Switzerland.  The new UEFA regulation allows the four best third-placed teams to advance to the round of 16 when it becomes a knockout competition. Yet, it will be tough for Albania who have beaten Romania only twice in 16 previous encounters.

Coach Gianni De Biasi said he feels proud the national side made France suffer until few minutes to go and is optimistic Albania can make it to the next stage with a final win against Romania.

“If we will be able to score the goals we missed against Switzerland and France, we will get three points that will enable us to make it to the next stage. What I can say is that Albania is at this tournament after showing it is a real team and can play good football,” said De Biasi.

France coach Deschamps admitted Albania were difficult opponents. “They played with a lot of heart and spirit but in the end we found the solutions,” he said.

Albania took on hosts France after two positive results in the last two encounters, but Les Bleus had won the four previous meetings with a goal difference of +10 and were unbeaten in their last four competitive games in Marseille.

Captain Lorik Cana missed his much anticipated fixture with France in Marseille where he played some of his best seasons after a red card in the opening campaign with Switzerland which left Albania in ten men for almost 60 minutes.

  

Sunday, June 19, 21:00

Romania – Albania

Albania have faced Romania 16 times, more than any other nation (W2 D4 L10)

Romania have yet to lose in eight competitive meetings with Albania (W6 D2 L0)

The teams contested a pair of 1-1 draws in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 16, 2016 09:47