Arsenal Ladies' European hopes are alive and kicking after a hard-fought victory over Russian side Lada Toliatti on Thursday.

Jayne Ludlow scored the only goal with 13 minutes left to maintain Arsenal's 100 per cent record in their qualifying group and guarantee their passage through to the Quarter-Finals.

The Ladies face Brondby in their final game on Saturday. A victory over the Danish champions will ensure Arsenal avoid the other group winners in the last eight.

Vic Akers' side were pushed all the way but Lada Toliatti and were reduced to 10 players for the final hour when Kelly Smith was sent off for two bookable offences.

The England international retaliated to a bad challenge in the 13th minute and received her marching orders after a poor tackle on the half-hour mark.

Things went from bad to worse for the Ladies when captain Faye White went off with a suspected broken nose after a clash of heads in the Arsenal penalty area after 47 minutes.

Akers' team were up against it but they showed immense character and Ludlow grabbed the decisive goal, capitalising on a defensive error and finding the bottom left-hand corner.

Brondby beat KS AZS Wroclaw 3-1 in the other group game.

Group Standings Team P W D L F A Pts Brøndby 2 2 0 0 5 1 6 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 4 1 6 Lada Toliatti 2 0 0 2 0 3 0 KS AZS Wroclaw 2 0 0 2 2 6 0
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15 Sep 2005