Demi Stokes of Manchester City Women right fights for the ball against Diana Silva of Aston Villa Women Aston Villa Women v Manchester City Women, WSL football match, Villa Park, Birmingham, UK - 05 Sep 2020 Photo: Jon Super for The FA

Aston Villa forward features for Portugal as they climb into EURO play-off spot

Aston Villa forward Diana Silva played the full 90 minutes for Portugal as they defeated Cyprus 1-0 at the Estadio Antonio Coimbra Da Mota in Estoril this evening in the nation’s latest UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 qualifier.

The 25-year-old collected her 60th senior international cap for the Portuguese as they secured three points which sees them leapfrog Scotland into a play-off place in their qualification group.

Diana Silva, Claudia Neto and Andreia Jacinto all registered early efforts on goal for the hosts but visiting keeper Eleni Ttakka was left untroubled. Neto then fired a shot against the woodwork before Ttakka denied Telma Encarnacao.

The Cypriot goalkeeper was in good form as she saved two further efforts from both Neto and Diana Silva as Portugal failed to find the breakthrough before the break.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half with Encarnacao twice going close for the hosts.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 61st minute when luck was on Portugal’s side at long last. A delivery from Neto caused havoc in the Cypriot box and forward Chara Charalambous diverted the ball into her own net.

Portugal pushed for a second goal with Tatiana Pinto looking particularly dangerous but Francisco Neto’s side ended the match as winners by a single goal.

Qualification for England 2022 is still very much in Portugal’s own hands with three of their final four matches being against Finland and Scotland.

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