UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

2001: Macala Moravia's hero

Central Moravia goalkeeper Petr Macala saved two penalties and stepped up to convert another in the decisive shoot-out.

Central Moravia celebrate winning the 2001 UEFA Regions' Cup
Central Moravia celebrate winning the 2001 UEFA Regions' Cup ©Getty Images

With Italian side Veneto AMA having taken the first UEFA Regions' Cup on home soil, 35 associations sent sides to contest the 2001 edition of the competition, with nine mini-tournaments and a play-off between the Netherlands District Midden AMA and Yugoslavia's Vojvodina AMA producing the final eight.

Vojvodina triumphed in the play-off to join Croatia's Dalmatia AMA, Portugal's Braga AMA and beaten 1999 finalists Madrid AMA in Group A of the final tournament in the Czech Republic. Hosts Central Moravia AMA took on Bosnia-Herzegovina AMA, Republic of Ireland AMA and Bulgaria's Plovdiv AMA in Group B.

True to form, Central Moravia qualified for the final, snatching success away from Plovdiv - who led the table ahead of the final group games after two wins - with a 2-0 win in Kyjov on 22 June 2001, with Gabriel David finding the target on both occasions.

Meanwhile, Braga recovered from a 3-0 opening defeat against Vojvodina to narrowly win Group A. In a fiercely contested group, a 1-0 win against Iberian rivals Madrid followed by a 3-0 final-day victory against Dalmatia proved enough for António Oliveira's side.

The final was held at the Letná stadium in Zlin on 24 June 2001 with the home side's presence drawing the best part of 3,000 supporters to the game, which was to be exceptionally tense.

David gave Central Moravia a 12th-minute lead, but Vítor Teixeira conjured up an equaliser after 54 minutes. When Maurício De Freitas scored a second for Braga after 83 minutes, it seemed all was lost for the home side, but Michal Svach brough the crowd to their feet as he converted a penalty four minutes into added time to send the game into 30 goalless minutes of extra-time and then penalties.

Central Moravia goalkeeper Petr Macala was to prove the hero on the day for Lubomír Blaha's side, saving two penalties and stepping up to the spot to convert one at the other end. Kamil Matula's effort proved to be the final kick of the game as the Czechs won the shoot-out 4-2 to take the trophy.