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Valon Berisha of Kosovo
Berisha scored Kosovo’s first ever competitive goal on a historic night for his team

Valon Berisha was only cleared to play for Kosovo a few hours before the game kicked off – and he marked the occasion in memorable fashion as his 60th minute penalty earned a draw against Finland.

It was the Balkan territory’s first World Cup qualifying match since becoming a Fifa member in May.

Berisha, who has 19 Norway caps, was one of six players cleared by the world governing body to play on Monday.

His penalty cancelled out Paulus Arajuuri’s opener for the Finns.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and their entry into Fifa prompted some Kosovans, who have played for other nations, to ask to change teams.

Red Bull Salzburg midfielder midfielder Berisha was born in Sweden to Kosovan parents, but grew up in Norway.

The 23-year-old was the last of the six cleared to switch nationalities just before the game, following former Albania internationals Amir Rrahmani, Alban Meha, Herolind Shala, Milot Rashica and Samir Ujkani.

In recent months Fifa has also approved requests from nine other Kosovan players who had represented six different European countries, including Germany and Switzerland.

Elsewhere, Chelsea striker Diego Costa scored his first international goals since 2014 as Spain thrashed Liechtenstein 8-0.

Costa, David Silva and Alvaro Morata all scored twice as Spain hit seven second-half goals, with the latter scoring his double in two minutes after coming on as a substitute,

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini was sent off for a second bookable offence as Italy beat Israel 3-1.


Kosovo was cheered on in the city of Turku by several thousand Kosovan refugees now living in Finland

Kosovo are ranked 190th in the world

Kosovo are ranked 190th in the world




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