Albania Stuns Italy, Scores Fastest Goal in Euros History

By: Gyang Dakwo

Albania shocked Italy at Euro 2024 on Saturday with the quickest goal in the history of the European Soccer Championships.

Albanian midfielder Nedim Bajrami scored just 23 seconds into Saturday’s group match, giving Albania a 1-0 lead:

Making the quick-strike goal even more surprising was the fact that Italy are the defending Euro champions.

Little was expected of Albania entering Euro 2024 in Germany since it marked only the second time that they had ever qualified for the European Championship.

The first occasion occurred in 2016, and Albania failed to get out of the group stage after winning once and losing twice.

Albania turned in a strong performance in Euro 2024 qualifying, though, winning four matches, drawing three and losing only one to win its group.

That momentum was carried into the start of Euro 2024, but Italy quickly righted the ship and took a 2-1 lead with goals by Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolò Barella in the 11th and 16th minutes, respectively.
Those two goals allowed Italy and their fans to breathe a little easier since a loss to Albania would have been one of the most unexpected Euro results in recent memory.
Italy are playing in their 11th European Championship, having already won it twice and finished as the runner-up twice as well.
In a tough group with Spain, Croatia and Albania, Italy are expected to advance to the knockout stage, and nearly every soccer pundit came into Euro 2024 with the expectation that Albania would go winless in group play.