South-West Region-Sofia 0-1 Vasca Alain Arroyo's goal wins the UEFA Regions' Cup for Spain's representatives.
By Jim Wirth at KS Proszowianka stadium
Spanish representatives Vasca held on for a 1-0 victory in the UEFA Regions' Cup final against South-West Region-Sofia despite being reduced to ten men in Proszowice.
Diminutive striker Alain Arroyo scored the only goal of the game after 33 minutes, to add to the burgeoning reputation he has gained at UEFA's blue riband event for amateur players, which was held in the Malopolska region of Poland, but the Basque team's nerves were strained after captain Fernando Veliz was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Vasca looked aggressive straight from the whistle, with Lander Urigüen going close after just four minutes. Having just tried his luck with a free-kick, he was offered a second chance as the ball fell loose on the edge of the area, but his low shot was comfortably claimed by Sofia goalkeeper Krasimir Gyorev.
Gyorev was called into action again to save Arroyo's near-post shot after 25 minutes following a neat ball from Jon Unai Martinez. Eight minutes later, the same two players combined to score what proved to be the only goal of the game. Martinez's ball from the right looked to have eluded everyone until Arroyo picked it up at the far post. He took a touch to control it before steering it carefully past Gyorev.
Sofia looked subdued, and did not begin to raise their game until Veliz, who had earlier been booked for dissent, received a second yellow card after 54 minutes for felling Ivan Todorov as he tried to race through the Vasca defence. However, as Sofia moved forward to press their advantage, the Basque side still looked the more likely to score.
Indeed, it was not until Lubomir Ivanov lifted a free-kick just over the bar after 69 minutes that they had a serious attempt on goal. None the less, they almost equalised after 71 minutes when José Carlos González fumbled a long-range shot from Lubomir Vitanov, but the goalkeeper managed to fingertip the ball to safety at the second attempt.
With the final whistle looming, Sofia finally raised their game. A minute from time, González made a stunning diving save to push away Delyan Koychev's goal-bound volley, and he was to be busy again three minutes into added time as he nudged Todorov's header over his crossbar, moments after making a spectacular save to block a miscued backpass which threatened to loop into the net.