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 By PA Sport

Albania qualify for first European Championships, defeat Armenia 3-0

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Albania have qualified for the European Championship for the first time after beating Armenia 3-0 in Yerevan on Sunday.

The win, courtesy of a Kamo Hovhannisyan own goal and strikes from Berat Xhimshiti and Armando Sadiku, saw Albania clinch the second automatic qualifying place in Group I behind Portugal and ahead of Denmark.

The hosts started well and Yura Movsisyan's shot worked Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha. However, immediately at the other end, Gevorg Kasparov did well to save a Migjen Basha effort but the rebound struck the unfortunate Hovhannisyan and Albania took the lead with just nine minutes on the clock.

Albania had their tails up and they went further ahead midway through the first half as Armenia suffered more bad luck with Xhimshiti's deflected free-kick beating Kasparov at his near post.

Albania have much to celebrate after Sunday's qualification.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcos Pizzelli had chances as the hosts searched for a way back into the game but both were off target with their shots.

Albania extended their lead and ensured the country's first-ever qualification for a major tournament with a third goal after 76 minutes.

Substitute Sadiku started the move before arriving in the penalty area to sweep home Odise Roshi's cut back.

It was a first win in four qualifying matches for Giovanni de Biasi's side, after successive home defeats to Portugal and Serbia, and saw Albania leapfrog Denmark in the table.

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