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Portugal beats Albania 1-0 in Euro 2016 qualifying

Portugal beats Albania 1-0 in Euro 2016 qualifying

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 7, 2015 at 3:20 p.m.


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ELBASAN, Albania (AP) — Portugal closed in on a spot at the European Championship after midfielder Miguel Veloso scored in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win at Albania in qualifying on Monday.

Both teams had hit the woodwork before Veloso headed in substitute Ricardo Quaresma's pass for the late winner.

"I thought the ball was for me and fortunately it made it," Veloso said.

Elsewhere, Denmark was stymied at Armenia for a second 0-0 draw in four days, complicating the Danes' chances to secure a berth for the 2016 tournament with a top-two finish in the group.

Portugal increased its lead of Group I to 15 points. Denmark has 12 while Albania has 11, but both Portugal and Albania have a game in hand.

Portugal's Nani hit the goal frame in the 13th minute, while Sokol Cikalleshi of Albania sent a shot off the bar in the 75th.

Two minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo had an opportunity to put Portugal in front, but goalkeeper Etrit Berisha made a save.

The victory came exactly one year after Albania stunned Portugal 1-0.

Armenia has two points, while Serbia is in last place with one.

"After halftime our team had one of its worst matches," said Denmark coach Morten Olsen. "We failed in the last 20 minutes. The Armenians also proved they can play. The fact they have only got two points must be a mistake."

Portugal hosts Denmark on Oct. 8 when a draw will be enough to qualify, while Albania plays Serbia at home.

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