Prahova Muntenia have joined South East FYROM in the UEFA Regions' Cup intermediary round as Group A winners after posting an eye-catching 9-1 success against Merkuriy, while Karmiel Tzfat were denied the preliminary round's best runners-up spot by hosts Istanbul.
Prahova collected four points from their opening two preliminary fixtures but had to overhaul group pacesetters Karmiel Tzfat in order to advance. The Romanian team kept their side of the bargain emphatically against Merkuriy, thanks in part to a sublime hat-trick from Adrian Puiulet, before their progress was confirmed by Karmiel Tzfat's 3-2 loss to Istanbul.
"We failed to show our quality in the first match but everything was perfect today," said Prahova coach Decu Crângaşu. "The team have the potential to go further and my players have always been extremely motivated." Forward Decebal Nae, who scored twice in the mini-tournament in Turkey, added: "We didn't know if we could qualify before the match. We just had ambitions. We wanted to win comfortably and hoped the result from the other match went our way. We are delighted."
Although victory for Istanbul lifted the home team into second position in the table on six points, it also paved the way for Northern Ireland's Eastern Region – second, with seven points, in Group B behind South East FYROM – to clinch the best runners-up slot available in the preliminary round and thus advance to the intermediary.
Karmiel Tzfat had seemed immovable at the summit after dispatching Merkuriy 7-1 only 48 hours before, but their concluding defeat left them third.
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