Switzerland scraped a 1-0 win over 10-man Albania thanks to Fabian Schär and an early error from Etrit Berisha.
History was made, as not only did Gianni De Biasi’s Albania make their debut in a major tournament, it was also the first time brothers had faced off in a European Championship.
It was an aggressive start from the Swiss and Lazio goalkeeper Berisha mistimed his punch on a corner, allowing Schär to nod in.
Albania fought back and should’ve scored with Armando Sadiku sent clear by Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, but forced a desperate toe save out of Yann Sommer.
However, just as they were starting to dominate the match, ex-Lazio centre-back Lorik Cana received his second yellow card for handball to stop a counter.
It was almost 2-0, but Blerim Dzemaili’s deflected free kick thumped the base of the upright. Genoa midfielder Dzemaili drilled inches wide again from a Stephan Lichtsteiner assist, but Albania didn’t give in and Sadiku was nearly on the end of a marvellous Hysaj ball over the top.
Berisha did very well to deny Haris Seferovic from point-blank range twice, while another splendid Hysaj through pass saw Sadiku hit the side-netting.
Stephan Lichtsteiner risked giving away a penalty late on Ermir Lenjani and 10-man Albania thought they’d equalised at the 89th minute when Shkelzen Gashi sprung the offside trap to go one-on-one with Sommer, but the goalkeeper stood tall to fingertip it over the bar.
Albania 0-1 Switzerland
Schär 5 (S)
Albania: Berisha; Hysaj, Cana, Mavraj, Agolli; Abrashi, Kukeli, T Xhaka (Kaçe 62); Roshi (Cikalleshi 73), Sadiku (Gashi 82), Lenjani
Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schär, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Dzemaili (Frei 76), G Xhaka; Shaqiri (Fernandes 88), Seferovic, Mehmedi (Embolo 62)
Ref: Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Sent off: Cana 36 (A)
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