2016 European Championship, Group Stage 2016
  • Lorik Cana (36')
  • Fabian Schär (5')

Fabian Schar goal sees Switzerland to win over 10-man Albania

Switzerland beat 10-man Albania 1-0 in Lens in their European Championship opener to move level on points with hosts France in Group A.

The Swiss looked threatening from the outset, and took the lead inside five minutes when Fabian Schar headed home after Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha's misjudged attempt to gather a Xherdan Shaqiri corner.

Albania finally produced a response midway through the first half when Taulant Xhaka got a shot away, and they could have had an equaliser soon afterwards when Elseid Hysaj's superb throughball found Armando Sadiku in the area, but keeper Yann Sommer did well to make the block.

However, their hopes suffered a setback seven minutes before the break when captain Lorik Cana picked up a second yellow card when he clearly handled the ball to prevent Haris Seferovic going through on goal.

From the resulting free kick, Blerim Dzemaili struck the post as the Swiss began to reassert their dominance.

Switzerland continued to press for a second goal after the break and had a golden opportunity when substitute Breel Embolo sent Seferovic clean through on goal, but Lazio keeper Berisha came out to make a good stop with his foot.

With the lead still at 1-0, Albania still had chances to snatch something. Armando Sadiku managed to get beyond the Swiss defence on 76 minutes only to find the side netting. Shortly afterwards, there were claims for a penalty when Stephan Lichtsteiner appeared to haul down Ermir Lenjani in the area, but the referee waved away the appeals.

They came even closer when Shkelzen Gashi found himself onside behind the Switzerland defence in the 87th minute, but the impressive Sommer tipped his shot over the bar.

The result sees them second in the group after France secured a 2-1 victory over Romania on Friday.