History-making Albania never considered recalling A-League marksman, Besart Berisha, despite the team's struggles up front.
On the eve of their 1-0 win over Romania, coach Gianni De Biasi welcomed back captain Lorik Cana from a ban but was dismissive of the absent striker.
Cana came on as a late substitute as Albania recorded their first win of a major tournament, after performing valiantly without reward against Switzerland and France in Group A.
While the coach could not praise the commitment of Cana highly enough, the same could not be said of a player conspicuous through his absence from the national team in their first appearance on one of football's biggest stages.
Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha, a deadly finisher, has not played for Albania since 2009, largely due to his reluctance to make the draining journey across the world on a regular basis.
In 2015/16 the 30-year-old rifled home 18 goals for Victory. He could perhaps have been vital to his goal-shy country's chances in France, where they failed to find the back of the net in their first two games.
"I never considered Berisha in the Albanian team (for the tournament)," De Biasi said.
"Two years ago I asked him to be part of this team. He said he was too far away and wasn't ready. It was the right thing for him not to be selected. I wanted players who want to play for this national team."
In January Berisha flagged his interest in lining up for Albania but added: "At the moment I've heard nothing ... if I have the chance to play in Euros, I think every football player wants to do that.”
Albania may still be able to progress to the round of 16 as one of the best four third-placed teams, but must hope other results go their way.comments