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Fleeting hat-trick sinks Portugal
 Women's Football News 5 May 2008
 
Scotland took another step closer to a potential play-off slot for the UEFA Women's Championship Finals with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Portugal at the Municipal Stadium of Povoa do Varzim. 
 
Jennifer Beattie got Scotland off to an early start by heading home a Megan Sneddon corner in the 11th minute and then it was captain courageous, Julie Fleeting, who played despite recovering from a broken metatarsal in her foot, who sealed the victory with a hat-trick of goals in the first half of the game.
 
Her first came on 20 minutes following good combination play between Kim Little and Pauline Hamill, the resultant cross was volleyed past the stranded keeper by the striker.
 
The third Scotland goal came in 25 minutes when a Jo Love pass in behind the Portuguese defenders saw Fleeting one on one with the keeper, the Scotland captain calmly chipped the ball home. Fleeting's final goal was scored from the penalty spot seven minutes before half time and her Arsenal team mate Little was bundled to the ground in the area.
 
Portugal's Edite Fernandes scored a consolation goal just before half time for the home team.
 
Scotland created further good chances in the second half when there were scoring opportunities for Fleeting, Little and Hamill, but the hard work in the first half ensured the Scots victory.
 
Scotland coach Anna Signeul commented after the match: "I really am delighted. It was so important to come here and to secure the three points as it keeps us in contention for one of the play-off slots. We created many really good chances in the first half, and it was really pleasing to see Julie return after injury and to see her grab a hat-trick. The result today is good preparation for our next qualification match against Ukraine later this month.' 
 
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Leanne Ross, Shelley Kerr, Ifeoma Dieke, Jennifer Beattie, Natalie Ross (sub Stacey Cook 55mins), Joanne Love, Megan Sneddon, Kim Little, Julie Fleeting (sub Suzabbe Grant 69mins), Pauline Hamill (sub Amanda Burns 76mins). Subs not used: Joanna Hutcheson, Rhonda Jones, Julie Ferguson, Amy McDonald.

(www.scottishfa.co.uk)

 
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