Italy defeated Albania 2-0 despite the disturbances from the fans of the visitors.
Albanian fans repeatedly disturbed the game, throwing flares and smoke bombs onto the pitch during the clash.
The coach of the visiting side Gianni de Biasi said he was “upset” with the fireworks during the games. He added that he “never thought” he would see such from the fans.
The fans started with the flares when the referee SlavkoVincic awarded a penalty in favour of the hosts. As Daniele de Rossi was about to take the kick, the flares came on. After the break, the game had to be paused for eight minutes and the players asked to leave the pitch.
The fans were threatened with warning that their team could get sanctioned if the disturbances continued. The warnings did little to stop the fans as the flares use continued.
One of the stewards was scared when fans threw flares onto him. He was assessed and declared fine but the skipper of the Albanian team AnsiAgolli had to appeal to the fans before play could resume.
“I was really upset with the throwing of the fireworks. I never thought I’d see that. I saw a different side to the Albanian fans, something I hadn’t seen in my years here. I was struck and pained to see those scenes,” De Biasi said after the game.
Ciro Immobile netted the second goal to send the Italian football team to the second spot in Group G. Italy are on the same points with Spain but rank lower due to goal difference.
Spain defeated Israel 4-1 to go top of the standings while Macedonia defeated hosts Liechtenstein 3-0 in the group’s other games. Spain have goal difference of 17 while Italy have 9. Israel have 9 points, Albania have 6, Macedonia have 3, and Liechtenstein have no point.