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Oltenia fight back to set up Castilla final date

Oltenia AMA 1-1 Centre Zagreb AMA
Constantin Alin Văcaru's second-half equaliser gave the Romanian outfit first place in Group A and a berth in Monday's UEFA Regions' Cup final.

Constantin Alin Văcaru celebrates scoring Oltenia's equaliser against Centre Zagreb
Constantin Alin Văcaru celebrates scoring Oltenia's equaliser against Centre Zagreb ©Sportsfile

Oltenia AMA will play Castilla y León AMA in the UEFA Regions' Cup final on Monday after topping Group A thanks to a draw with Centre Zagreb AMA.

Văcaru intervention
Constantin Alin Văcaru's second-half equaliser confirmed the Romanian side's progress after Nikica Brujić had got the tournament hosts off to the perfect start with his 22nd-minute header. However, Ivan Graf passed up three excellent first-half chances, misses which Centre Zagreb were ultimately left to rue.

Firm header
Following a cagey opening quarter hour, the game burst into life. Graf clipped the bar after being played in by Marko Puškarić and then saw his glancing header from close range narrowly drift past the far post. However, Brujić made no mistake after ghosting into the box and, having being picked out by Ivan Puškarić, the deep-lying midfielder guided the ball past the helpless Octavian Alexandru Popescu.

Graf slip
Centre Zagreb were playing with real confidence and in the 31st minute Graf was put through again. This time he rounded Popsecu but with the goal at his mercy, he lost his footing and the chance was gone. Oltenia playmaker Gabriel Petrovici was becoming increasingly frustrated as he struggled to make an impact and Sreten Ćuk's side nearly doubled their lead just before the break, Popescu getting down well to deny Ivan Horvat.

Key period
However, Oltenia were a different proposition after the restart. Văcaru found space on the edge of the area in the 51st minute and struck a fierce left-footed shot into the bottom corner to restore parity. There then followed a succession of gilt-edged chances for the Romanian representatives, with Mirel Adrian Sirbu spurning two of them and Costinel Radut having his header saved by Nikola Durdek.

Monday final
Needing two goals, Centre Zagreb poured forward with both Matija Ivanić and Adel El-Saleh wasting presentable opportunities. Unbeaten Oltenia kept their goal intact, though, and meet Castilla in Zapresic on Monday.