A free-kick from FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Yevgen Konoplyanko gave Ukraine a 1-0 victory over Malta in their opening Group 8 match in qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Missed chancesPlaying in front of a home crowd in Borodinka, Pavel Iakovenko's side started in an attacking frame of mind, but failed to take a number of early chances. FC Dynamo Kyiv striker Roman Zozulya had a couple of good openings while his club-mate Andriy Yarmolenko was guilty of missing an open goal. The hosts were becoming impatient as they struggled to break down the resolute Malta rearguard. However, midway through the second half, Konoplyanko – who showed glimpses of the danger he carries at set-pieces in the opening 45 minutes – struck a perfect free-kick into the top corner to earn his side all three points.