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Castilla claim Regions' Cup title

Oltenia AMA 1-2 Castilla y León AMA
Castilla became the second Spanish side to win the UEFA Regions' Cup after a late header from José Luis Robles gave them victory over Oltenia.

Castilla captain David Durantez hoists the UEFA Regions' Cup trophy aloft
Castilla captain David Durantez hoists the UEFA Regions' Cup trophy aloft ©Sportsfile

Castilla y León AMA won the UEFA Regions' Cup after an 81st-minute goal from José Luis Robles earned them a 2-1 victory over Oltenia AMA in Zapresic.

Late header
Antonio Ramírez had given Castilla a first-half lead which was quickly cancelled out by Mirel Adrian Sirbu following a well-worked free-kick. However, it was a set-piece that proved to be Oltenia's undoing as centre-back Robles rose to head in Alberto Mato's delivery and give Spain their second triumph in Europe's premier amateur competition after Basque Country AMA's success in 2005.

Early action
Unlike the rest of the tournament, the showpiece was played under overcast skies and, because of the 20.15CET kick-off, floodlights. It was Oltenia who shone first as Ionut Stoica's searching ball released Sirbu and although the striker out-paced the Castilla back line, Alejandro Aparido was off his line quickly to snuff out the chance. The Spanish side responded in the fifth minute when Andrés González crossed for fellow winger David Alonso, who volleyed firmly, but straight at the legs of goalkeeper Octavian Alexandru Popescu.

Oltenia respond
Castilla then opened the scoring after 20 minutes. The lively Ramírez laid the ball off for Alonso, who played a beautifully weighted return pass taking both Popescu and his defenders out of the game to give the striker the simple task of tapping in. Having only conceded once in their entire 2008/09 UEFA Regions' Cup campaign, Javier Yepes's side would have been confident about protecting their lead but within five minutes the Romanian representatives were level. Gabriel Petrovici's deep free-kick was headed across goal by captain Nicolae Iovan and Sirbu was on hand to nod in at the back post.

Both sides continued to create opportunities in an evenly balanced contest with Porfirio García's deflected shot well saved by Popescu and Petrovici bursting in on goal only for Aparido to get down and deny him. A half-time deluge made for tricky conditions on the restart and the game was consequently scrappy. Ramírez and Robles as well as Oltenia's Eugen Eusebiu Rioşanu were booked in quick succession before Andrés González went close as the Spanish side began to dictate proceedings.

Yepes glory
With the game approaching extra time, Porfirio García was upended and substitute Mato swung in a free-kick which Robles flicked into the far corner. Oltenia piled forward and Costinel Radut had a great chance deflected away wide with five minutes remaining. The Spanish side held out, though, to give a fitting send off to coach Yepes, who retires on a high note after a 45-year career.