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Italy leave it late to see off Poland

Patrizia Panico struck four minutes from time to earn UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying Group 1 winners Italy a 1-0 victory against Poland who now cannot watch second-placed Russia.

Patrizia Panico (left) scored her ninth goal in seven games
Patrizia Panico (left) scored her ninth goal in seven games ©Expansia Media

Having already qualified for next summer's finals, Italy maintained their unblemished record in Group 1 thanks to a deserved 1-0 victory against Poland, whose play-off hopes evaporated.

The visitors never looked likely to secure the win they needed to stay in touch with second-placed Russia and their stubborn rearguard action ended four minutes from time courtesy of veteran Patrizia Panico's ninth goal in seven games. Italy, who can look forward to the 9 November draw, conclude their qualifying campaign with a trip to Greece on Wednesday, while Poland face Russia in Moscow.

The group winners and best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed teams in the larger groups 1, 2 and 3) will progress to the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final tournament from 10 to 28 July alongside hosts Sweden. The other six runners-up will advance to the play-offs for the remaining three berths.