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Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon registers 1,000th match in 2-0 win over Albania

Flares thrown in the pitch during De Rossi penalty, leading to forced exit of players from pitch.

Warren Zammit
25 March 2017, 9:39am
Gianluigi Buffon who played his one thousand career game.
Gianluigi Buffon who played his one thousand career game.
Italy registered a 2-0 win over Albania in a match that saw Buffon becoming the most capped European player.

Daniele De Rossi scored from the spot to put Italy ahead on the 12th after Andrea Belotti had been fouled inside the penalty area by Migjen Basha.

The Italians had a good chance to double the score on the 28th minute. Antonio Candreva’s free kick was met by Belotti who headed wide.

Albania responded on the brink of half time. Following a string of passes, Odise Roshi tried to place the ball inside the top corner, but failed to hit the target.

Gianpiero Ventura’s side sealed the issue twenty minutes from time through Ciro Immobile. The Lazio striker received a cross from Davide Zappacosta and sent a header inside the net to seal Italy’s victory.

Despite the win, the talking point of the match was the behaviour of visiting fans who threw flares inside the pitch and forced the referee to send the players into the dressing room and temporarily suspend the match.

Albania's Italian manager Gianni de Biasi said: "I was really upset with the throwing of the fireworks. I never thought I'd see that."

Flares were first thrown in the pitch when De Rossi was waiting to take the penalty. However, it was in the second half when the players were forced to leave the pitch.

An announcement was made at the stadium informing the fans that their team could face sanctions if they persist with their actions, but this only sparkled the lightning of more flares.

One firework exploded near to a steward and he was taken away for assessment, though he was not injured. Albania captain Ansi Agolli appealed to the fans before play resumed.

This result will put Italy on level points with Spain who registered a comfortable 4-1 win over Israel.

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