Albania fires coach after losing at home against Turkey

Turkey's defender Hasan Ali Kaldirim. left, and Albania's midfielder Myrto Uzuni fight for the ball during the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between Albania and Turkey at Loro Borici stadium, in Shkoder, northern Albania, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

TIRANA, Albania — Albanian coach Christian Panucci has been fired a day after his team lost to Turkey in a European Championship qualifier.

In a statement Saturday, the Albanian soccer federation said it had terminated the 46-year-old Italian's contract.

Albania lost 2-0 at home to Turkey in their opening Euro 2020 game on Friday.

Panucci led Albania for 15 matches — winning four, drawing two and losing nine. He became coach in July 2017, replacing another Italian, Gianni De Biasi, who took Albania to its first major tournament at the Euro 2016 finals.

Albania plays at Andorra on Monday in its next Group H game with former national team players Ervin Bulku and Sulejman Mema in charge.

France, Iceland and Moldova are also in the group.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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