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Euro 2016: France late show stuns Albania as Berisha battles tears

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MARSEILLE: Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha fought to contain his emotions as the Balkan minnows’ hopes of remaining in Euro 2016 were dented by a last-gasp 2-0 defeat to Group A rivals France on Wednesday.

A determined Albania were hanging on for a scoreless draw at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille until substitute Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock for the hosts on 90 minutes. Dmitri Payet, who hit the winner against Romania on Friday, added the finishing touch when he picked up a loose ball outside the area to curl a shot past Berisha in the sixth minute of injury time.

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Berisha admitted the dressing room mood was one of bitter disappointment as Albania’s hopes of remaining in the competition suffered a huge blow.

“We took it really badly because up until the goals we’d had a good match and we can’t do that in the final minutes,” Berisha, who plays for Lazio in Italy, told AFP.

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“It’s not the first time we’ve lost a game in the final minutes, so I’m a little bit annoyed.”

Albania’s only chance of avoiding an early trip home is to finish third and hope they are good enough to claim one of the four spots awarded to the best third-place finishers.

“Now we can’t do anything about it, we have to concentrate on our next game. We have to win to have any chance of finishing among the best third-placed sides,” Berisha said.

“We would have been happy with a point because the France team is fully of quality players. We created a few chances, we might even have won, but we’ve taken nothing from the game.”

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