We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

6 great sport channels

Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA

All free when you join eir Broadband

Subscribe to eir Sport
Published: 15:54 | 11/6/16

Swiss edge Albania in Lens

Ten-man underdogs narrowly fall short in Group A

Switzerland produced a nervy 1-0 win over Albania in Group A at the European Championship.

Fabian Schar headed the favourites into an early lead at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, and the defender’s goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Albania responded brightly to going behind but were damaged prior to the interval by captain Lorik Cana’s dismissal for a second booking.

The 10 men, however, stayed very much in the game and, a few minutes from time, missed a glorious chance to steal a point through substitute Shkelzen Gashi.

Switzerland’s win leaves them second in the group, behind France on goals scored, following the hosts’ dramatic opening-night victory over Romania.

The Albanians got off to a dreadful start in Lens, as goalkeeper Etrit Berisha sprung from his line to attempt to meet Xherdan Shaqiri's fifth-minute corner, allowing Schar to nod Switzerland ahead.

Haris Seferovic wasted a fine opportunity to double the Swiss lead before Taulant Xhaka, facing his brother and Switzerland midfielder Granit, fired a decent chance to level off target.

Xhaka’s was a difficult chance but Armando Sadiku certainly should have equalised from a superb Alexander Soderlund pass on the half-hour. Sadiku, however, was put off by the excellent positioning of goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who blocked away the striker’s attempt.

The Albanians’ hopes were severely dampened before the break, as the grounded Cana prevented Seferovic from having a one-on-one with Berisha by deliberately handling the ball. Already booked for a foul on Blerim Dzemaili, Cana was shown a red card by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.

Dzemaili fired the resultant free-kick against Berisha’s left-hand post before flashing an effort narrowly wide, as Switzerland failed to add to their advantage before the half-time whistle.

A mistake from Johan Djourou almost allowed Sadiku in at the beginning of the second period but the Swiss soon took over, with Berisha saving well from Seferovic.

Berisha denied Seferovic again with a quarter of the game remaining, advancing from his goal to stop the Eintracht Frankfurt striker’s attempt, following substitute Breel Embolo’s through-ball.

The underdogs responded bravely, as Sadiku struck an attempt from the corner of the six-yard box a yard or so wide, before Stephan Lichtsteiner was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty kick for a hold on the Switzerland-based Albania frontman.

Albania’s clearest opportunity arrived with a few minutes remaining but Gashi, clean through after beating the offside trap, saw his attempted finish superbly kept out by Sommer.

The Swiss clung on to secure three points, which could be enough to secure progress, even should they lose their next two games.

The Albanians, making the first appearance at a major tournament, will retain plenty of hope of progressing to the knockout phase in France, particularly with four of the six third-placed teams making it through to the second round.

A victory over either the hosts or Romania will most likely be necessary, however, and Gianni De Biasi’s men will have to face the French on Wednesday without their skipper, the suspended Cana.


FA Cup holders Man Utd win at Blackburn

18:13 | 19/2/17

Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were on the scoresheet, as holders Manchester United came from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 and book their place i...


Mata: We must remain focused

11:37 | Today

Manchester United are excited at the prospect of facing Southampton in the EFL Cup final but are focused on overcoming Saint-Etienne in the Europa League before...


FA Cup sixth round draw

18:44 | 19/2/17

Holders Manchester United will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the pick of the FA Cup quarter-finals.


Klopp wary of Leicester tie

10:25 | Today

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects Leicester to be fired up for the visit of his side to the King Power Stadium on February 27.


Spurs through to FA Cup last eight

15:54 | 19/2/17

Harry Kane netted the fifth hat-trick of his Tottenham career, as Mauricio Pochettino's Premier League high-fliers cruised into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup...


What’s in the eir Sport Pack?

We’ve got heartstopping action across 6 great sports channels, with 42 Premier League games, every Champions League game and every Europa League game, as well as UFC, Allianz Leagues GAA, Golf, F1 and much more.