Celebration during the Kosovo women's football team victory against Turkey on August 30. Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

Modesta Uka scores twice as Kosovo beat Estonia

The Kosovo women’s football team take six points from three European Championship qualifiers after a win in Tartu, while their home match with Russia in Prishtina is postponed.

20-year-old striker Modesta Uka scored both goals as Kosovo came back from a goal behind to beat Estonia 1-2 in Tartu on Tuesday night. A 57th minute goal directly from a corner was enough to seal the three points for Kosovo, who now have two wins from three games in their first ever qualification campaign for a UEFA Women’s Championship.

The three points seemed less than secure after 22 minutes, when Kosovo trailed 1-0 after Katrin Loo put Estonia in the lead with a goal from the penalty spot. Kosovo goalkeeper Besarta Leci had given away the penalty, after her tackle on Signy Arna left the Estonian striker in a heap on the ground.

The Dardanians responded positively to going a goal behind though, dominating possession and creating two good chances before Uka scored her first of the night in the 42nd minute. Uka had already seen a long distance shot saved well by Estonian goalkeeper Karin Kork, but made no mistake with her second effort from outside the penalty area, finding the far corner of the net.

Uka’s second goal had a shade of fortune about it, as Kork and Ariina Murkhain both failed to clear an inswinging corner, the ball ending up in the back of the net with the two Estonians exchanging reproachful looks. 

Despite leading, Kosovo continued to attack throughout the game and had chances to add a third goal, with Erleta Mehmeti rolling the ball just wide of the post after dispossessing Kork, and Besiana Recica having a shot saved after escaping the Estonia defence.

The missed chances did not matter by the full time whistle, the referee confirming Kosovo’s second victory in this qualification campaign after beating Turkey 2-0 in Prishtina at the end of August. Kosovo are now in fourth place in Qualification Group A, level on points with Slovenia in third, who beat Kosovo 5-0 in September. 

The Netherlands and Russia occupy the top two spots in the group, with the first placed team qualifying automatically for Euro 2021, and the second placed side qualifying if they are amongst the three best runners up out of the nine qualification groups. The top two teams met in Eindhoven later on Tuesday night.

The match with Estonia was originally scheduled to be Kosovo’s second match in this round of fixtures, but the Dardanians home match with Russia on October 4 was postponed by UEFA for a later date. Announcing the postponement, the Russian Football Union cited “security reasons” as UEFA’s reasoning. 

General secretary of the Football Federation of Kosovo, Eroll Salihu, told Koha Ditore that UEFA took the decision due to the match being scheduled just two days before the Kosovo elections. The fixture is expected to be rearranged for November, while Kosovo host Slovenia in March.

08/10/2019 - 20:53

08 October 2019 - 20:53

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