- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine put aside the country’s troubles to beat Moldova 1-0 in a friendly Wednesday that served as a warm-up for European Championship qualifying.

Dynamo Kiev striker Roman Bezus scored the winner in the 63rd minute, knocking the ball in from inside the penalty area when Artem Hromov’s shot took a deflection.

Moldova goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu prevented a bigger loss for his team as he made some impressive saves, including late on when he kept out a fierce shot from Artem Fedetskyi.

For Ukraine, the narrow margin of victory is unlikely to provide a boost for a team faced with a difficult Euro 2016 group that also contains Spain, Slovakia and Belarus.

Ukraine’s first qualifier is at home to Slovakia on Monday before games against Belarus and Macedonia next month.

Bidding to qualify for a first major tournament, Moldova plays away to Montenegro on Monday.

On a day that saw confusion over a potential ceasefire in the fighting in the east of Ukraine, the match in Kiev’s near-empty Olympic Stadium was free of crowd trouble.

The Football Federation of Ukraine will meet FIFA and UEFA representatives later this month in an attempt to resolve a conflict with the Russian Football Union, which has absorbed clubs from the annexed region of Crimea into the Russian league system.

However, the FFU has yet to say whether it will meet Russian representatives for talks.

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