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Rapids Attacker Shkelzen Gashi Features for Albania in Friendly Against Qatar

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In a tune-up for Euro 2016, Colorado Rapids attacker Shkelzen Gashi puts in 45 minutes for his national team.

In preparation for Euro 2016, which begins in France on June 10, Albania played the first of two friendlies. Colorado Rapids midfielder Shkelzen Gashi started the game and played the first 45 minutes, but did not get on the score sheet for his national team. Albania defeated Qatar 3-1, as Arlind Ajeti, Ermir Lenjani, and Armando Sadiku were the scorers.

Albania faces off again in a friendly against Ukraine this Friday, June 3, before beginning the Group Stage in Euro 2016. Ukraine are ranked 22nd in the latest FIFA ranking, while Albania is ranked 45th.

Albania was drawn into Group A, and must finish top two against foes Romania, Switzerland, and the host nation, France. Romania is currently ranked 19th, Switzerland 14th, and France 21st, so Albania clearly have a tough challenge ahead of them to survive their group.

Gashi figures to be a key player for Albania. Other important players for Albania include Elseid Hysaj, a 22 year old right back who started most of the season for in Italy for Serie A side Napoli, and center back Lorik Cana, a 32 year old that plays for Nantes in French Ligue 1 alongside USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.