Maiken Pape's goal just three minutes from time kick-started Denmark's UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ campaign, however, it has ended Ukraine's.
Both beaten on Sunday in their Group A openers, these teams – who recorded a 1-0 victory apiece in their qualifying meetings – got off to a tentative start. But four minutes into the second half, all that changed when Camilla Sand Andersen edged Denmark ahead. Daryna Apanaschenko levelled 13 minutes later, but Pape's late strike meant Ukraine needed Finland to lose to the Netherlands in the late game. As it was, the hosts won 2-1 so Ukraine will finish bottom and Denmark will need to beat the Oranje on Saturday to ensure progress in second place.
Denmark abandoned their 4-3-3 formation for a 4-1-4-1, with Pape the lone striker and Nadia Nadim replacing Tina Rasmussen, who was posted on the right flank for the first half against Finland. Ukraine, meanwhile, succeeded in avoiding a repeat of their disastrous start against the Netherlands, when they shipped two early goals. Indeed, on this occasion, they actually had some early half-chances, with the youngest player in the finals, 16-year-old Oksana Yakovyshyn, kept on up front after her half-time introduction on Matchday 1.
On 23 minutes, the previously subdued Denmark seemed set to take the lead as Nadim was sent through on goal, but she chose to check and her resulting square ball went behind Pape. Johanna Rasmussen, a danger down the left against Finland, then sent in a cross-shot which hit the outside of the post. Ukraine continued to counterattack well, but tended to be restricted to efforts from distance.
At half-time, 0-0 looked a good bet for the final score. Four minutes after the break, the point when Denmark conceded against Finland, they were in front. Pape's header was flicked on by Nadim to Andersen, in the right position to smash the ball past Nadiya Baranova. The goalkeeper did stop a Cathrine Paaske Sørensen header soon after.
Ukraine took a little time to respond, but, when they did, it was clinical. Vira Dyatel broke down the right and her cross was headed inside the far post by Zvezda-2005 club-mate Apanaschenko. Denmark nearly restored their lead in quick measure as Katrine Pedersen's cross was helped on by Paaske Sørensen, but Pape's shot was off target.
Pape then came close with a header from a Mia Brogaard centre and Paaske Sørensen shot straight at Baranova. However, Pape was to have the last word with a strong shot from a Rasmussen lay-off to clinch the victory.