Rosas Header Earns Andorra Historic Draw Away to Kosovo in EURO 2024 Qualifying

Albert Rosas will probably never have to buy a drink in Andorra again after his second-half header earned a 1-1 draw away to Kosovo, a result which secured the tiny nation’s second-ever away point in European Championship qualifying.

Both teams showed a willingness to get forward in the early exchanges, but neither had the incisiveness their final ball required to create any chances of note. Indeed, the hosts grew particularly frustrated as they dominated possession but had nothing to show for it, although it would have been a different story had a last-ditch block not prevented Valon Berisha from converting from close range.

That was a sign of the Tricolours’ stout defending, aided by a 5-4-1 formation and a game plan to sit deep and attempt to suck up pressure. They were still able to eke out a handful of openings, the best of them coming when Joan Cervós’ tame shot was saved, before Iker Álvarez dived low to his right to expertly deny Vedat Muriqi at the other end in the dying moments of the first half.

The home crowd were finally rewarded for braving the snowy conditions just before the hour mark when Edon Zhegrova broke the deadlock by bursting down the right flank and confidently converted into the far corner. The lead lasted only a matter of minutes, though, as Andorra equalised through Rosas’ header from Albert Alavedra’s knock-down.

Kosovo looked to restore their advantage, and were left furious when two penalty appeals were turned down following lengthy VAR checks. Substitute Zymer Bytyqi was then twice thwarted by Álvarez, before Mirlind Kryeziu glanced wide from Zhegrova’s superb cross.

That proved to be the final real opportunity for either outfit, meaning Kosovo have now drawn a fourth successive game for the first time in their albeit short history. Andorra, meanwhile, avoided defeat for just the second time in their previous 30 European Championship qualifiers and, while it will still take a miracle for them to reach the finals in Germany next year, they can be proud of their historic performance.

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