Romania vs. Albania (Tactical report)

Forward Armando Sadiku’s first-half header sealed history for Albania as it finished third in Group A with the 1-0 win.

Albania made history last night after it registered its first ever win at a European championship, and it must now wait until the group stage is over to find out its round-of-16 fate.

Forward Armando Sadiku’s first-half header sealed history for Albania as it finished third in Group A with the 1-0 win. The victor lined up in a 4-3-3 formation while Romania was structured 4-2-3-1.

Like most unfancied teams, Albania relied on being a tough nut to crack and this was the exact recipe it used last night.

It was the Romanians who started brightly, dominating the first 20-odd minutes and forward Bodgan Stancu went close with a volley. But Romania soaked the pressure and, despite having lesser possession, created the first obvious chance.

First left-winger Ermir Lenjani scooped over from three yards, before Ledian Memushaj fired straight at Romanian 'keeper Tatarusanu after weaving through the defence.

Sitting back and soaking the pressure finally paid off for Albania when striker Sadiku, who was doing the donkey work all over the field, met Memushaj's cross at the far post and headed past the helpless Romanian custodian.

Romania picked itself up and continued having the major chunk of possession but could not produce the goods in the final-third. Despite taking 16 shots, the strikers did not trouble Albania’s Etrit Berisha. Romania’s best chance fell to substitute Andone, who was unlucky with a fierce strike that bounced off the woodwork.

However, the lack of conviction in the opposition half proved fatal for Romania as it goes back home empty-handed.