Scotland captain Julie Fleeting scored an impressive 18-minute hat-trick as her side defeated Portugal 4-1 in UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying Group 5.
The win helped Scotland jump above Slovakia into third place in the section with seven points from six games although they remain five points off the joint leaders, Ukraine and Denmark. Anna Signeul's team started well at the Estádio Municipal da Póvoa de Varzim and opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Jennifer Beattle headed in following a corner from the left. The home side pushed forward in search of an equaliser but instead saw Fleeting score her first after a Kim Little cross from the left in the 20th minute.
Five minutes later Fleeting struck with a perfect lob over Portuguese goalkeeper Neide Simões and seven minutes from half-time completed the hat-trick with a penalty, after Kimberly Brandão brought down Little. Edite Fernandes responded for the hosts just before half-time but they could not get another one in the second period as the visitors comfortably controlled proceedings. Scotland play against Ukraine next on 28 May while Portugal – who are bottom of the section with one point from six matches – host Denmark on Thursday.