Ukraine were given a stern test by Greece en route to opening their Euro Beach Soccer League title defence in Nazare with a 6-5 win in Nazare on Thursday.
In the opening game of the second stage in Portugal, the sides exchanged goals regularly over the opening 24 minutes and went into the final period level at 4-4.
However, a hat-trick goal from the impressive Glutskyi helped seal a narrow victory for the holders against a gutsy Greek side who came up just short.
The holders were set on their way when Yaroslav Zavorotny found the target with a set-piece but Greece captain Theofilos Triantafyllidis responded immediately from the restart.
The scores were completed turned round when Alexandros Biris angled a strike into the top corner of Volodymr Hladchenko’s net.
The Ukraine stopper almost reduced the arrears when he rattled the crossbar before Glutskyi and Andriy Yevdokymov struck in quick succession to ensure the champions a first-period lead.
In a back-and-forth contest, Greece equalised through Konstantinos Tsitaris before e the number eight registered again to restore his side’s lead.
This time Ukraine responded, again through Glutskyi, to set up a fascinating finale.
Things remained finely poised until Glutskyi wrapped up his hat-trick with a neat looping header, with Yevdokymov helping take the game away from Greece with a fine driven finish.
There was time for Georgios Karakasis to benefit from a fortuitous deflection in the final stages but it was Ukraine who would claim the first points of Division A, Group One.
Scores: Greece 5-6 Ukraine (Division A, Group One)- 0-1: Zavorotnyi, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Triantafyllidis, min. 9 (1); 2-1: Biris, min. 8 (1); 2-2: Glutskyi, min. 0 (1); 2-3: Yevdokymov, min. 0 (1); 3-3: Tsitaris, min. 9 (2); 4-3: Tsitaris, min. 4 (2); 4-4: Glutskyi, min. 0 (2); 4-5: Glutskyi, min. 4 (3); 4-6: Yevdokymov, min. 2 (3); 5-6: Karakasis, min. 0 (3)