Romania’s national football team was defeated by Albania by 1-0 (1-0) on Sunday evening at the Stade de Lyon in a match counting for Group A of EURO 2016 and will be leaving the competition.
Romania has played its weakest game at the EURO 2016 and has lost for the first time in 68 years against Albania, through the goal scored by Armando Sadiku (43).
The 100th match for Iordanescu on the national team’s bench was an unlucky one, given the negative outcome.
Romania had better possession since the beginning of the match that the Albanians contested heavily. Stanciu sent one over the bar from the edge of the box (3), then Hoban’s shot was caught by Berisha (6). A good shot on goal was also sent by Bogdan Stancu (8), whose volley from 16 meters away was turned down by Berisha. Alibec also tried his luck with a lengthy lobbed shot, yet the ball went flying over the bar (14).
The tricolours gave up the rhythm little by little and Albania didn’t wait for a written invitation: Memushaj (35) went into the box and fired one off at the near corner, Tatarusanu being forced to knock it out of play. After the corner was executed, the Albanians tried their next shot, but Basha (36) missed the goal by a wide margin.
After the Romanian fans started their chanting for Sanmartean, looking hopefully to renewed inspiration from the eldest player in the squad, their hopes were dashed by Sadiku (43), who managed to score a historical goal for Albania, the first for the Red and Blacks in a final tournament. Memushaj centered the ball, Chiriches went under the ball, Tatarusanu was caught in a bad position, and Sadiku put in a header to bring the score to Albania’s advantage.
Romania didn’t have much clarity in action after the break either, hindered by Albania’s defence, while Alibec’s injury didn’t do much to help.
The tricolours however had initiative and looked for an equalizer, yet it was the Albanians who almost made history once more through Memushaj’s powerful shot that was ultimately saved by Tatarusanu (63).
Romania tried to force its way in the goal, but Torje’s shot in the 69th minute missed the goal and Andone’s shot in the 76th minute hit the crossbar.
The finale was chaotic, with the tricolours trying to regroup and the Albanians dangerous on counter-attacks, inching their way to a historic result.
With a crowd made up of three quarters Albanians and a hearty Romanian group, Romania managed a modest play and ended its run in Group A on the bottom rung, after France, Switzerland and Albania. Whereas the Romanians are making the trek home, Albania holds on hope for the round of 16, being third.
The only mitigating circumstance for Romania’s failure is the fact that coach Anghel Iordanescu (photo)couldn’t count on two of his top choices: Razvan Rat and Mihai Pintilii, both injured, Agerpres correspondent reports.
Romania – Albania 0-1 (0-1)
Goalscorers: Armando Sadiku (43).
Lyon, Stade de Lyon: 49.752 in attendance
EURO 2016 – Group A