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748 vs. Albania
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1027 vs. Albania
  Sunday, 28 March 2021
2022 FIFA World Cup UEFA Group I qualification match

Albania 0 England 2 [0-1]

Players lost since last match
Derek Ufton (27 March), 92

Air Albania Stadium (Arena Kombëtar), Sheshi Italia, Dëshmoët e Kombit Boulevard, Tiranë
Kick-off (CEST): 6.00pm 5.00pm BST
Attendance: behind closed doors

94 minutes 45:00 & 49:06 Mason Mount kicked off
'after taking the knee'
  [0-1] Harry Kane header 38 37:53
beats Veseli to header in from 9 yards from a Luke Shaw pinpoint cross from the left
[0-1] Harry Kane strike from 3 yards hits crossbar
  [0-1] Phil Foden strike saved onto the post
[0-2] Mason Mount 63 62:07
Harry Kane threads the ball through for Mount to neatly place the ball over Berishat
Keidi Bare 21 20:11  

Elseid Hysaj 79 78:04
Klaus Gjasula 89 88:58
Kyle Walker 68 67:58
Harry Kane 73 72:23
Commentator: Sam Matterface with Lee Dixon


Officials from Israel Albania Squad


England Squad
Referee (black)
Orel Grinfeeld
39 (21 August 1981), FIFA-listed 2012
2 Goal Attempts 9
1 Attempts on Target 3
Assistant Referees 0 Hit Bar/Post 2
Roy Hassan Idan Yarkoni 1 Corner Kicks Won 5
Fourth official
Gal Leibovitz
34 (10 August 1986), FIFA-listed 2019
UEFA Referee Observer - Ganna Bordiugova, Ukraine
UEFA Delegate - Vladimir Antonov, Macedonia
3 Offside Calls Against 0
13 Fouls Conceded 12
32% Possession 68%

Albania Team



FIFA (18th Feb 2021) 66th
EFO ranking
ELO rating
Colours: Made by Macron - Red jerseys with black wing collar with varying shades of red depicting an embossed eagle on front of shirt, black shorts, black socks.
Capt: Etrit Berisha Manager: Edoardo Reja, 75 (10 October 1945 in Luvinico, Italy), appointed 17 April 2019.
Albania Lineup
1 Berisha, Etrit F. 32
18 days
10 March 1989
in Pristina, Yugoslavia
G Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor, Italy 66 0
4 Hysaj, Elseid G. 27
36 days
20 February 1994 RB SSC Napoli, Italy
79th min. after he held back Raheem Sterling from running onto a  through-ball
18 Ismajli, Ardian I. 24
179 days
30 September 1996 RCD Spezia Calcio, Italy 16 1
6 Gjimshiti, Berat R. 28
37 days
19 February 1993
in Zürich, Switzerland
CD Atalanta Bergamasco Calcio, Italy 37 1
5 Veseli, Frédéric S. 28
138 days
10 November 1992
in Renens, Switzerland
LCD US Salernitana 1919, Italy 33 0
2 Memolla, Hysen, off 59th min. 28
268 days
3 July 1992 LB Diósgyőri VTK, Hungary 6 0
16 Çikalleshi, Sokol, off 59th min. 30
244 days
27 July 1990 RM Konyaspor Kulübü, Turkey 40 10
14 Laçi, Qazim, off 89th min. 25
68 days
19 January 1996 RCM AC Ajaccio, France 7 0
7 Bare, Keidi, off 71st min. 23
212 days
28 August 1997 LCM RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, Spain
21st min. after he and Ardien Ismajli succeeded in bringing down Mason Mount
11 Uzuni, Myrto 25
301 days
31 May 1995 LM Ferencvárosi TC, Hungary 14 1
17 Broja, Armando, off 59th min. 19
199 days
10 September 2001
in Slough, England
CF SBV Vitesse, Netherlands, on loan from Chelsea FC, England 5 0
Albania Substitutes
scoreline: Albania 0 England 1
10 Manaj, Rey A., on 59th min. (58:22) for Çikalleshi 24
32 days
24 February 1997 F FC Barcelona B, Spain 22 5
3 Lenjani, Ermir L., on 59th min. (58:33) on for Broja 31
235 days
5 August 1989
in Karaçevë, Yugoslavia
DM Grasshoppers Club Zürich, Switzerland 36 4
8 Gjasula, Klaus F., on 59th min. (58:40) for Memolla 31
104 days
14 December 1989 DM Hamburger SV, Germany
89th min. after he lunged his right foot into Mason Mount's shin on the halfway line.
scoreline: Albania 0 England 2
9 Memushaj, Ledian, on 71st min. (70:15) for Bare 34
111 days
7 December 1986 CM Delfino Pescara 1936, Italy 44 1
20 Ramadani, Ylber L, on 89th min. (88:01) for Laçi 24
350 days
12 April 1996
in Starnberg, Germany
DM Vejle Bk, Denmark 10 1
result: Albania 0 England 2

unused substitutes:

12-Gentian Selmani, 13-Arlind Aieti, 15-Erjon Hoxhallari, 19-Albi Doka, 20-Yiber Ramadani, 21-Sherif Kalluka, 22-Florian Kamberi, 23-Thomas Strakhosa.

team notes:

unused substitute goalkeeper Thomas Strakhosa's father Fotaq, was in goal for Albania the last two times these two teams met.
5-4-1 Berisha -
Hysaj, Ismajli, Gjimshiti, Veseli, Memolla (Gjasula) -
Çikalleshi (Manaj), Laçi (Ramadani), Bare (Memushaj), Uzuni -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26 years 256 days Appearances/Goals 26.8 1.5

England Team



FIFA (18th February 2021) 4th
EFO ranking Group One (3rd)
ELO rating 8th
Colours: The Nike 2020 home uniform - White crew-necked jerseys with navy blue collar and side trim, white shorts with pale blue/red side stripe, white socks.
Capt: Harry Kane ²⁶
30th, W 18 - D 5 - L 7 - F 70 - A 27
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 50 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
51st match, W 31 - D 10 - L 10 - F 107 - A 37
England Lineup
1 Pope, Nicholas D. 28
348 days
14 April 1992 G Burnley FC 6 0ᵍᵃ
2 Walker, Kyle A. 30
304 days
28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC
69th min. after retrieving the ball and was adjudged to have elbowed Keidi Bare.
Shaw, Luke P.H. 25
259 days
12 July 1995 LB Manchester United FC 9 0
4 Rice, Declan 22
73 days
14 January 1999 RDM West Ham United FC 14 1
5 Stones, John 26
304 days
28 May 1994 RCD Manchester City FC 41 2
6 Maguire, J. Harry 28
23 days
5 March 1993 LCD Manchester United FC 31 2
7 Foden, Philip W., off 81st min. 20
304 days
28 May 2000 RAM Manchester City FC 5 2
8 Phillips, Kalvin M., off 71st min 25
116 days
2 December 1995 LDM Leeds United AFC 6 0
Kane, Harry E. 27
243 days
28 July 1993 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC

73rd min. after he stretched for a ball between Berat Gjimsiti and Ardian Ismajli.
10 Sterling, Raheem S. 26
110 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
AM Manchester City FC 60 14
the 41st player to reach the 60-app milestone
Mount, Mason T. 22
77 days
10 January 1999 LAM Chelsea FC 15 4
England Substitutes
scoreline: Albania 0 England 2
17 Ward-Prowse, James M.E., on 71st min. (70:08) for Phillips 26
147 days
1 November 1994 LDM Southampton FC 6 2 1
14 Lingard, Jesse E., on 81st min. (80:40) for Foden 28
31 days
15 December 1996 RAM
West Ham United FC, on loan from Manchester United FC 26 15 4
result:  Albania 0 England 2

unused substitutes:

12-Kieran Trippier, 13-Dean Henderson, 15-Conor Coady, 16-Reece James, 18-Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 19-Tyrone Mings, 20-Ben Chilwell, 21-Ollie Watkins, 22-Sam Johnstone, 23-Jude Bellingham.

team notes:

Three players, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden and John Stones all share the same birthdate...and the same club.

BME notes:

In his 51 matches in charge, this is the first time Southgate has used as little as three BME players.
Raheem Sterling becomes the youngest BME player to reach sixty appearances, third youngest overall

goalkeeping records:

Nick Pope breaks Chris Woods record in not conceding in his first six England appearances. Pope has now played 440 minutes, Woods only played 276 minutes before conceding his first in his sixth appearance against Spain.


This is England's 250th away win in 459 matches (996 goals). Mount's goal is England's 250th competitive away goal scored.
Manager Gareth Southgate was an unused substitute the last time England met Albania in September 2001.
4-2-3-1 Pope -
Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw -
(Ward-Prowse), Rice -
Sterling, Mount, Foden
(Lingard) -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25 years 331 days Appearances/Goals 26.6 5.1

    Match Report by Mike Payne

Regular England watchers will recognise this game from many others played over the years.  Matches that we are expected to win, but not the performance we would have liked to see.  To be fair, the pitch was a poor one, and England took a while to find their feet, literally, and the range for their passing game.  The first ten minutes saw little action in either box, although Nick Pope touched the ball more often in that opening spell, than he did in the whole of the San Marino game.

In fact, on 13 minutes the home side could and should have taken the lead.  A poorly aimed pass backwards from well inside the Albanian half by Mason Mount, sent Elseid Hysaj scampering down the left with the England defenders completely caught out.  Hysaj teed it up for Myrto Uzuni, who was in on goal with just Pope to beat.  With great relief, especially to Mount, Uzuni shot over the bar from the edge of the box.  That really was a huge chance for the Albanians, and they were not to get another.

Albania were far more lively than San Marino, however, and they did try to attack and close down at every opportunity.  Gradually though, England’s passing improved and the possession was mostly with the visitors.  Not a great deal happened over the next period until a dangerous cross from Mount, who apart from his earlier mistake, played well, was intercepted cleverly by Ardian Ismajli.  Albania were organised and lively, and England’s play tended to go backwards and sideways more often than one would have liked.  Nothing much was going into the danger zone.  On 32 minutes a decent shot by Kyle Walker was easily saved by Etrit Berisha in the home goal.  That was a rare effort on goal, as the Albanians battled for everything, but then, just as frustrations were creeping in to England’s play, a touch of class changed the outlook.

Thirty-eight minutes had gone when Mount and Raheem Sterling combined down the left.  It looked for a moment if Sterling lost possession, but he regained it, passed to Mount who teed up Luke Shaw for a cross into the middle.  Brilliant movement by Harry Kane saw him nip in front of his marker to glance a supreme header into the net with the goalkeeper helpless.  It was finishing of pure class by the England captain and a relief for him, scoring his first goal for his country for quite a while.

Four minutes later and Kane was unlucky not to double his and England’s tally.  Sterling’s centre found Kane roaring in at the far post but his powerful half-volley thudded against the crossbar and away to safety. en then, there was still time for Kane to hit over another dangerous cross, but this time Berisha cut out the centre.  So, in those last few minutes of the half, the previously turgid performance was suddenly livened up by England’s Tottenham man.

England had another fine chance five minutes after the restart as Mount again fed Sterling who then laid the ball back for Phil Foden to stroke a shot that seemed a certain goal.  Berisha had other ideas though as he dived to his right, and a strong hand manage to tip the ball onto the post and away.  It was a good save and kept Albania in the game.

With Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Mount ever-more dominating in midfield, the home side had little chance to test the sound England defence.  This half saw England move forward more often and quicker, but still few chances were created. On 56 minutes Kane blazed over from close range after Rice missed with an attempted header and then a minute later Sterling looked through on goal but was beaten to it by the alert goalkeeper.  Albania made some substitutions, but then on 62 minutes England found another touch of class to go further ahead.

A poor clearance was intercepted by Sterling, who passed to Kane.  Kane fed the ball through to Mount coming in from the left, and the Chelsea youngster showed a remarkable calmness as he coolly lifted the ball over the diving Berisha.  The game was effectively over at this point and England were in control.  It was a little infuriating that the remainder of the game saw England waste good attacking positions at times, preferring instead to turn round and go backwards.

Phillips went off after his good shift, to be replaced by James Ward-Prowse and he was quickly into the action, first with an attempted pull-back and then with a miscued pass that went high, wide and not so handsome.  Walker gained a silly booking as did Kane, although the skipper’s was a very poor decision by the otherwise excellent referee.  The rest of the half was scrappy to say the least, and the general feeling as you watched the play was that the job was done, and let’s all go home!

In the end it was a comfortable win for England, and it puts them in a great position as they entertain Poland at Wembley in their next match.  I just hope that Jan Tomaszewski is not in goal for them, mind you, he is 73 years old now, so he might not be quite as good as he was in 1974.  So, well played England and thank you for those two memorable goals in Tirana. 

Oh, and one last thing I must mention.  Due to the lack of supporters in the stadiums, there is great embarrassment when players are tackled and scream at the top of their voices as they go down, mainly to attract the ref’s attention.  It does come across loudly on TV.  Albania did it a few times in this match as did Mason Mount for England.  If the players break a leg, then fair enough, but when they are up and about again within seconds, it looks and sounds so pathetic.  It’s a man’s game after all.  Just saying and gripe over.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor
Neil Morrison