WATCH: Flares interrupt Buffon's 1000th game

Italy defeated Albania 2-0 in their World Cup qualifier.

WATCH: Flares interrupt Buffon's 1000th game

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Flares and smoke bombs held up Gianluigi Buffon's 1000th game for eight minutes last night, as Italy defeated Albania in their World Cup qualifier.

With Italy leading 1-0 through a Daniele de Rossi penalty, referee Slavko Vincic called for the ball in the second half, and took the players off the smoke-filled pitch at Palermo's Renzo Barbera stadium.

Flares had been thrown on the pitch just before de Rossi's penalty, but conditions became unplayable in the second half due to the smoke.

A firework exploded near a steward, who was taken away to be assessed although he was not injured.

An announcement was made in the stadium, warning fans that their teams would face sanctions if they persisted with their behaviour, but they continued. It's believed that Albanian supporters are responsible for throwing the objects.

Play later resumed and Italy struck a second goal through a Ciro Immobile header to ensure that Buffon kept a clean sheet on his 168th appearance for his country, making him the most capped player in Europe. The 39-year-old is expected to retire, should Italy qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The result also leaves Italy in second place in Group G, level on points with Spain.