Ukraine continued their perfect start to UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying as Nataliya Zinchenko's goal proved enough for a 1-0 victory in Portugal.
Having won their first three Group 5 fixtures, Ukraine were keen to keep up that record, and the victory takes them six points clear of Denmark, although the Scandinavian side have themselves triumphed in both their fixtures to date. And despite a good effort from Portugal, who now have only one point from five games, Zinchenko ensured Ukraine remained strongly placed.
The visitors dominated early on in Abrantes but Portugal goalkeeper Neide Simões was in good form and her team gradually settled. However, midway through the second half Olena Khodyryeva hit the crossbar and with 21 minutes left Zinchenko struck from distance. Portugal forwards Edite and Carla Couto threatened an equaliser, but it was not to be.
By the time Anatoliy Kutsev's side return to action in Scotland on 28 May, Denmark could be ahead if they win the three matches they play between now and then. The first encounter between the top two follow in Ukraine on 22 June with only the team finishing first to qualify automatically for Finland and avoid the play-offs. Portugal's next bid to climb off the bottom is at home to Scotland on 3 May.