Denmark took a step closer to UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ by picking up their sixth win in as many qualifying Group 5 games.
Camilla Sand Andersen and Merete Pedersen put Denmark in control and although Slovakia pulled one back just before the break, the 5,206 crowd in Viborg were entertained further after the break as Maiken Pape scored twice and Pedersen matched that feat to complete her hat-trick. Ukraine defeated Scotland 1-0 tonight to maintain their 100 per cent record from five games, so Denmark's 22 June trip to Chernigov and 1 October return here will decide who goes straight to the finals and who will face a play-off.
The home side, who won 4-1 in Slovakia in April, dominated from the off and early on Pedersen hit the post and Olsen and Cathrine Paaske Sørensen came close. Sand broke the deadlock when she turned in a 24th-minute cross from Johanna Rasmussen, who also set up Pedersen to head the second. Marcela Lukácsová's effort was deflected in by Mie Olsen one minute before the interval, but that did not stem the tide after the break.
Pedersen, Andersen and Sørensen all had chances before Pape claimed her second goal on 60 minutes. Rasmussen had been the provider yet again and seconds later made a fourth with a cross from the left turned in by Pedersen. Bettina Falk – with a cross of her own from the left – set up Pape to make it 5-1 on 81 minutes and in added time Pedersen pounced on a defensive slip to complete her treble.
Rasmussen shares credit
Having made four goals, Rasmussen said: "I received some fine passes that were easy to work with, and they enabled me to put in some good crosses. Of course we could have scored even more goals, and we would also have liked to keep a clean sheet, but in general I think we can be content with our performance." Slovakia now must win in their remaining game in Scotland on 28 September to claim third place and have any chance of a play-off berth.