It was all celebrations in Albania, as the home side scored two late goals further aiding their quest to a major international tournament, whilst dashing Armenian hopes of doing the same. Armenia started out well, as a spectacular run around three Albanian defenders by Henrikh Mkhitaryan led to a cross that was deflected by Mërgim Mavraj giving the visitors a 1-nil lead.
After that, the game was hugely lopsided, as Armenia were content to sit back and led Albania do as they wished. Three opportunities were squandered in the first half, as a header went no more than three feet wide of the net, Roman Berezovsky stepped in with a wonderful save, and a counter was missed off the post.
Going into the second half, more of the same continued, as Armenia were content to sit back and hope that bunkerball would suffice to escape with all three points. That was working well, though, Albania was inching closer and closer to an equalizer. That was until Hovhannes Hambartsumyan picked up his second yellow, demoting the visitors to ten men.
Albania took full advantage, as Mavraj redeemed his own goal, and Shkelzen Gashi got the winner off the bench. Armenia had a chance to equalize and pull back a point when Ruslan Korian had a wide open net, yet, blasted it off the pole.
A dissapointing cycle for Armenia may have come to an end. Leading 1-nil in Copenhagen, only to lose 2-1 as well. Marcos Pizzelli had his spot kick and the rebound blocked home to Serbia, preventing a 2-nil lead, ending in a 1-1 draw. Taron Voskanyan was caught ball watching, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to notch in a 1-nil winner in Portugal.
Granted, four games remain, with three at home. A longshot still remains the reality. A new coach may make a big difference, however, as it was speculated that the only way Bernard Challandes would remain would be with a victory in Albania.