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Joy in Albania at historic win

Tirana (AFP) – Thousands of Albanians celebrated wildly in the streets of the capital Tirana on Sunday after the national football team secured its first ever victory in a major international finals.

Car horns blared and red flags stamped with the black eagle of Albania flew while flares lit up the night sky.

At Euro 2016, Albania had lost to Switzerland and then to host nation France.

But on Sunday a header from Armando Sadiku, who plays in the backwaters of European football for Liechtenstein club Vaduz, gave the Albanians a famous 1-0 victory over Romania.

“Goooooooooool” tweeted Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Thousands of fans erupted in joy in Mother Teresa Square which dominates the centre of Tirana.

The win in Lyon gives Albania a slim chance of qualifying from their group as one of four third-placed teams to qualify for the knockout round.

The team must await their fate — but on Sunday their fans could not have cared less.

“We will celebrate achieving our dream this evening,” said Tatjana Mali, 27, a medical student who had an Albanian flag draped around her shoulders.

“It’s a historic victory for all Albanians,” said Genta Skuraj.

“We dominated the match and we showed what we can do.”


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