November 17, (THEWILL) – The Albania national football team secured qualification for Euro 2024 on Friday night, with a 1-1 draw away against Moldova in Group E. The result keeps alive Moldova’s hopes of also reaching the finals next summer.
Albania took the lead in the 25th minute when midfielder Taulant Seferi was fouled in the box by Moldova’s Ioan-Calin Revenco. Striker Sokol Cikalleshi stepped up to convert the penalty, sending his shot into the bottom right corner.
Moldova pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half as Albania goalkeeper, Etrit Berisha, made some fine saves. In the 87th minute, Moldova substitute Vladyslav Baboglo finally broke through, scoring from close range to the delight of the home supporters.
The qualification campaign began poorly for Albania with a 1-0 defeat away in Poland back in March. Since then they have gone unbeaten, winning four and drawing two to reach 14 points at the top of the group. One more win against Faroe Islands on Monday will seal first place.
For Moldova, qualification is still possible but hopes are slim. Level on 10 points with Poland and just one behind the Czech Republic, they must win away in the Czech Republic on Monday to have any chance. A Czech victory over Poland tonight would end Moldovan dreams.