Albania stun Portugal in Euro 2016 qualifier
Albania pulled off a major shock by downing Portugal in the opening salvoes of Euro 2016 qualifying on Sunday.
Portugal, first round casualties at the World Cup, were sorely missing their skipper Cristiano Ronaldo but despite the Real Madrid star’s absence the 1-0 loss to a team ranked 71st in the world was a major embarrassment for Paulo Bento’s side.
Albania, who have failed to qualify for a European Championships in half a century, humbled the mighty Portuguese in their own back yard.
Slavia Prague forward Bekim Balaj struck the killer blow shortly after the restart, with the home side walking off the pitch in Aveiro at the final whistle to boos from their supporters.
“It’s a really bad result,” conceded Portugal striker Nani.
“We’ve started qualifying badly, now we have to pick ourselves up. We have to improve.”
Other Euro 2016 qualifying results:
Faroe Islands 1 Finland 3
Germany 2 Scotland 1
Gibraltar 0 Poland 7
Greece 0 Romania 1
Denmark 2 Armenia 1
Georgia 1 Rep of Ireland 2
Hungary 1 Northern Ireland 2
Sources: AFP, The Guardian