Lens (France), June 11 : Switzerland overcame debutants Albania 1-0 to get off to a winning start in the Group A of the Euro football championship here on Saturday.
Switzerland were off to a bright start only five minutes into the game as Fabian Schär headed home Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner. The margin of victory looked set to be greater when Lorik Ca received a second yellow card nine minutes before half-time, but Albania dug in well and by the fil whistle the Swiss were hanging on.
Albania will look back on several missed chances to cap their debut in style, most notably for Armando Sadiku. He squandered a golden opportunity before Ca’s dismissal when a trademark Elseid Hysaj long ball sent him one-on-one with Yann Sommer.
The keeper repeated the feat in the closing stages as Albania, spirited along by their noisy fans, threw everything at Switzerland. Then, with three minutes left, came the best chance of all but Shkelzen Gashi, with time and space, could not find a way past Sommer.
Switzerland got the win they so desired. They have yet to make it through the group stage in three appearances. IANS