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Ankara relief as the Irish battle on

Published: Thursday 23 June 2011, 23.00CET
Ankara were relieved as their luck held against South Region Russia in Group B, with Leinster & Munster boss Gerry Smith delighted to still be "in with a shout" of the final after a 1-0 win.
Ankara relief as the Irish battle on
Match-winner Muhittin Çetinkaya and team-mates celebrate after Ankara's win ©Sportsfile
Published: Thursday 23 June 2011, 23.00CET

Ankara relief as the Irish battle on

Ankara were relieved as their luck held against South Region Russia in Group B, with Leinster & Munster boss Gerry Smith delighted to still be "in with a shout" of the final after a 1-0 win.

Luck, good and bad, was the talk of the post-match press conference after a missed penalty contributed to South Region Russia's 2-1 defeat by Ankara, a result that ends Oleg Sanko's side's interest in UEFA Regions' Cup Group B. Leinster & Munster boss Gerry Smith was thrilled to be "in with a shout" of a place in Tuesday's final following his team's 1-0 victory against out-of-sorts Belgrade.

South Region Russia 1-2 Ankara

Hameş Şentürk, Ankara coach
We started the game very well, everything was good for us. We also managed to score. Then, after the penalty, it was a bit difficult. After the red card we took control of the game again, but then came a second penalty and South Region Russia missed the opportunity to win the game. At that moment, I thought we were a bit lucky. Then we managed to score another goal and with ten players the Russian side were not able to equalise.

Oleg Sanko, South Region Russia coach
The first big moment of the game was our first penalty. My player [Mikhail Tyukalkin] scores then kicks the ball away, which was a big mistake because two minutes later he got booked again and was sent off. We ended up playing with ten players and, of course, it was more difficult for us. Then we missed a penalty and I still cannot understand how their second goal went in. That's football but we were unlucky tonight.

Belgrade 0-1 Leinster & Munster

Jovica Milikić, Belgrade coach
We played very badly. After the win on Tuesday it looks like the players thought they had already qualified, and that was the biggest mistake the team made today. They didn't play the game, they just thought having won last time out was enough.

Gerry Smith, Leinster & Munster coach
Serbia are very, very good; a very quick team, a very strong team, technically very good and they know how to play the game, so we knew we had a lot of work to do. It's unusual for us to be up against a team that drop off and let you have the ball; we are an up-and-at-'em team. At half-time we rearranged a bit and said we need to get a goal; we need to go for it. We need to up the tempo and be on the front foot for a change. As for Ray Whelehan, I told him that I'd rather he ran two miles less but scored more goals, and he has done that for us. It's a big, big win for us. We are over the moon and it keeps us in with a shout for Sunday.

Last updated: 24/06/11 2.12CET

http://www.uefa.com/regionscup/news/newsid=1646643.html#ankara+relief+irish+battle

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