LYON, France — Albania kept its hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the European Championship alive with a 1-0 victory over Romania on Sunday, a result that eliminated its opponent.
The result catapulted Albania above Romania in the group rankings into third place.
The team will have to wait until the group stage of Euro 2016 has been completed before it finds out whether it will be one of the four third place teams to make it through to the round of 16.
Armando Sadiku scored the sole goal in the match in the 43rd minute. It was the first goal Albania has scored in an international tournament. Ledian Memushaj picked out Sadiku drifting at the far post with a well-placed cross that the striker coolly nodded back over goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, who had left his line.
After going without a goal in two hard-fought losses to Switzerland and France, Albania struck to its defensive approach in the match against Romania.
Romania failed to produce many chances, its best effort coming in the 76th minute when substitute Florin Andone hit the crossbar with a ferocious strike. Otherwise, Albania buckled down at the back while Sadiku continued to trouble Romania’s defense.
Albania’s players celebrated the historic victory with Italian coach Giovanni De Biasi after the final whistle, while the team’s large contingent of fans cheered wildly at the Stade de Lyon.
Romania was eliminated after only earning one point in its three group matches.