Armenia Wins World Cup Qualifier

YEREVAN (Reuter)–Armenia beat Albania 3-0 Saturday to notch up their first victory in a World Cup qualifier.

It was a small consolation for Armenia as both teams long ago lost any chance of advancing from European group nine–which also includes Germany–Northern Ireland–Portugal and Ukraine.

The only significance for the Armenia’s is that the victory was their first out of the eight qualifiers they have played and moved them up to fourth in the table above Northern Ireland–at least until the Irish play Albania–Wednesday.

Kharutyun Vardanyan opened the scoring in the 60th minute from a 20-meter free kick and Eric Assaturyan beat Albanian goalkeeper Fotaq Strakosha from close range in the 82nd. Garnik Avalyan scored from the penalty spot two minutes before the end.

Albania–who are bottom of the group–had Altin Rraklli sent off in the 88th minute for dissent. Armenia: 1-Roman Berezovsky–2-Ervand Krbashyan–3-Rafael Nazaryan–4-Sarkis Hovsepyan–5-Garnik Avalyan–6-Kharutyun Vardanyan–7-Artur Petrosyan (13-Tigran Yesayan 39)–8-Albert Sargsyan (15-Akop Ter-Petrosyan 62)–9-Hamlet Mkhitaryan–10-Eric Assaturyan–11-Karapet Mikaelyan (16-Varazdat Avetisyan).

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