A Maxym Kalinichenko penalty seven minutes from time earned an experimental Ukrainian side a 1-0 victory over Latvia in their friendly international at Kiev's Lobanovskiy stadium.
Ukraine manager Leonid Buryak, denied the services of Andriy Shevchenko and Olexander Horshkov, who scored the last-minute equaliser against Spain in their UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier on Saturday, saw his side achieve a win when Olegs Blagonadezdins pulled down Andriy Vorobey in the area. Kalinichenko then comfortably slotted the ball past Aleksandrs Kolinko to score the winner and record his first goal in nine appearances for Ukraine.
Latvia, whose only outing to date this year came in a 2-1 defeat of Lithuania in February, used the game as a warm-up for their EURO 2004™ qualifier home to San Marino on 30 April. Coach Aleksandrs Starkovs could take much from his side's efforts as they proved a match for the Ukrainians.
Maris Verpakovskis had the best chance for visitors, but he could not take advantage after being put through on goal with only Olexander Shovkovsky to beat. Vitalijs Astafjevs and Juris Laizans should have also done better for the Latvians, but substitute keeper Vitaly Reva was on hand twice to make brilliant saves. Oleh Venglinsky spurned three scoring opportunities for the Ukrainians as two efforts were saved by Kolinko, before he had another shot cannon off the upright.
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