Albania and Turkey crash out of EURO 2016 after final group games


Gianni De Biasi’s Albania – playing in their first major tournament – defeated Romania 1-0 in Lyon on Monday (AEST) to ensure they finished third in Group A.

A nervous wait followed to see if their record of three points and a minus two goal difference would put them above two of the other sides who ended their groups in third spot and guarantee them a place in the last 16.

However, Portugal’s dramatic 3-3 draw against Hungary and Iceland’s 2-1 win over Austria meant Fernando Santos’ men finished third in Group F and ended the hopes of De Biasi’s team.

Portugal have a better goal difference (level compared to minus two) than Albania, who already sat behind Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Turkey in the rankings of third-placed teams.

Had Hungary defeated Portugal, Albania would have remained in with a chance of progressing going into the Group E finale.

Turkey were five minutes away from going through, before Republic of Ireland’s late win over Italy denied them.

Fatih Terim’s men were on the brink of qualifying for the last 16 without playing, but Robbie Brady’s goal with five minutes remaining in Lille saw them exit the tournament in heart-breaking fashion.

Turkey had sealed third place in Group D when they defeated Czech Republic 2-0 in Lens on Tuesday and looked to be in with a strong chance of qualifying at the start of their nervous wait to see if other results went their way.

They would have gone through had Hungary beaten Portugal in Group F.

Turkey had another chance when Group E was the last to come to a conclusion, knowing they would be through if Ireland failed to beat Italy and Sweden did not beat Belgium in the other game.

Sweden’s result went their way with Belgium winning 1-0 thanks to Radja Nainggolan’s late goal, but Brady booked Ireland a place in the next round against France and ensured Turkey missed out.

Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Portugal and Northern Ireland are the four third-placed teams with the best record who progress to the knockout stages, with Turkey and Albania losing out on goal difference.

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