Sports

Euro 2024: Spain edge past Albania with 1-0 win

Albania’s defeat saw them eliminated from Euro 2024 with Spain into last 16

By  Web Desk   |  
June 25, 2024
Spain's forward #22 Jesus Navas and Spain's defender #05 Daniel Vivian mark Albania´s forward #26 Arber Hoxha during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Albania and Spain at the Duesseldorf Arena in Duesseldorf on June 24, 2024. — AFP

Spain secured a 1-0 victory over Albania on Monday, with Ferran Torres' early strike sealing the win in Duesseldorf in the Euro 2024 group stage.

Albania’s defeat saw them eliminated from the tournament.

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Barcelona 24-year-old winger Torres finished off a fine move in the 13th minute, silencing noisy Albanian fans in the stadium. Despite securing the top spot in Group B before the match, Spain’s second-string side faced a determined Albanian team, that needed a win to progress.

Spain made 10 changes from their 1-0 win over Italy just four days earlier. Albania ranked 66th globally, and knew beating Spain was a tough task, but their efforts kept the match intense, especially in the second half as they pushed forward.

Albania exited the Euro 2024 with only one point, finishing bottom of their group. This is a step back from their debut European Championship appearance in 2016, where they also exited in the first round but managed to secure a win.

Coach Luis de la Fuente, looking ahead to a last-16 tie in Cologne on Sunday, made several changes to rest key players. Aymeric Laporte was the only player retained from the Italy match, while Rodri was suspended. The game saw international debuts for goalkeeper David Raya, defender Dani Vivian, and midfielder Martin Zubimendi.

Jesus Navas, 38, started the match, adding experience from Spain's 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 victories. Laporte was substituted at half-time, with Robin Le Normand taking his place, and Lamine Yamal and Alvaro Morata also appearing in the second half.

Spain's first threat came in the 12th minute with a Mikel Merino header saved by Thomas Strakosha. A minute later, Dani Olmo’s measured pass allowed Torres to score, marking his fourth goal in major tournaments.

Albania's closest chances came in the final minute of the first half and in stoppage time, with Kristjan Asllani and Armando Broja both testing Raya. However, Spain's defence held firm and Albania bowed out of the competition.


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