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Albania 0 - Switzerland 1

Saturday, 11th June

Many Albanian and Swiss fans travelled together to Lens from Switzerland.

Even Taulant Xhaka (14 for Albania) and Arsenal's new signing, Granit Xhaka (10 for Switzerland) lined up as footballing brothers in different international shirts.

Ten members of the Albanian squad were born or grew up in Switzerland and six of the Swiss players have family ties with Albania or Kosovo.

Within five minutes, Switzerland were in front; the defender from Hockenheim, Fabian Schär, rising high to head home Xherdan Shaqiri's corner from the right as Etrit Berisha flew off his line.

Albania had to wait twenty-two minutes for their first corner but, unlike Switzerland, couldn't make it count.

Eight minutes later, Armando Sadiku forced Yann Sommer to block with his feet, as Albania increased the pressure on Switzerland and tried to get back on level terms. Sadiku probably should have done better with that.

On 36 minutes, all of Albania's hard work came undone when Albanian captain Lorik Cana received his second yellow card, for flicking out his arm at the ball while lying on the edge of the area. The Spanish referee had no option but to reduce Albania to ten men.

Half-time: Albania 0 - Switzerland 1

Albania had a mountain to climb in the second-half, to get back in the game.

Credit to the Albanians, they weren't prepared to just sit back and keep the score respectable, but tried to raid the Swiss bank on a number of occasions.

The pressure almost paid off four minutes from time; but Yann Sommer made himself big in front of the Colorado Rapids striker, Shkelzen Gashi.

The conversation on the way back to Switzerland will no doubt be about what could have been.

Group A in Lens.

Travel to Albania Travel to Switzerland

Final Score: Albania 0 - Switzerland 1

0:1 (Fabian Schär, 5)
Red Card (Lorik Cana, Albania, 37)

1-Etrit Berisha;
4-Elseid Hysaj, 5-Lorik Cana, 15-Mergim Mavraj, 7-Ansi Agolli;
22-Amir Abrashi, 13-Burim Kukeli, 14-Taulant Xhaka;
21-Odise Roshi, 10-Armando Sadiku, 3-Ermir Lenjani.

1-Yann Sommer;
2-Stephan Lichtsteiner, 22-Fabian Schär, 20-Johan Djourou, 13-Ricardo Rodriguez;
11-Valon Behrami, 10-Granit Xhaka, 23-Xherdan Shaqiri, 15-Blerim Dzemaili;
18-Admir Mehmedi, 9-Haris Seferovic.

Euro 2016 in France.

Michel - Founder of TravelNotes.org and Meta-Travel.com