Poland's Dolnoslaski AMA became the first side to reach the 2007 UEFA Regions' Cup finals after winning the Group 8 intermediary mini-tournament on home soil.
A decisive 1-1 draw against Germany's Sachsen AMA saw Poland's Dolnoslaski AMA win the Group 8 mini-tournament to become the first name in the hat for the 2007 UEFA Regions' Cup final tournament.
The intermediary round mini-tournament hosts needed to avoid defeat against Sachsen on the final day to book their place in the finals after winning their opening two fixtures against Toscana AMA of Italy and Malta AMA, and duly came from behind thanks to a Michał Sudol free-kick ten minutes from time in Wroclaw.
Substitute Robert Scannewin had put Sachsen ahead after 64 minutes to give them a chance of progressing but Sudol's strike won the day. "I'm really happy we won the group," he told uefa.com. "It was not easy because we conceded a goal and had to fight for draw. I am happy with my goal - it was a golden goal for us."
While Sachsen had started their campaign with an 11-0 win against Malta, with Marc Hensel and Roy Blankenburg both scoring hat-tricks, Dolnoslaski kicked off with a 2-1 win against ten-man Toscana where all three goals came in the last ten minutes - Mariusz Sadowski and Rafal Krakowiak scoring for the hosts.
"I expected good play from our two forwards – Sadowski and Krakowiak - and they didn't dissapoint," said coach Janusz Kudyba, while his Toscana counterpart Filippo Raffaelli concluded: "It was match between two equal teams. I think my team had no luck - we had more chances to score."
Toscana, who also bowed out at the intermediary round stage in the 2005 edition of Europe's top amateur competition, gave a better account of themselves in their second match, winning 1-0 against Sachsen thanks to Sergio Olivia's 68th-minute goal in a pulsating encounter. "I'm really satisfied with my players, but I would be happier if we had won 2-0 because we would be in a better situation in the group," said Toscana midfielder Valerio Alicante.
Four for Fraccone
With the hosts inflicting a second 11-0 defeat on Malta on the same day, with Krakowiak and Grzegorz Sajewicz both scoring hat-tricks, the Italian side were left with an enormous task on the final day if they were to qualify, and in the end their 9-0 win against Malta was not enough. Marco Fraccone scored four goals for the Italian side with Luigi Cardillo firing a hat-trick.
Job well done
While the Dolnoslaski celebrated success, Jerzy Koziński – president of the local football association – could also reflect on a job well done. "It was first time we have organised such a tournament so we were a bit nervous; but we did it," he said. "I am also satisfied that the Polish team succeeded."
And despite conceding 31 goals without answer, even Malta left the Dolnoslaski with fond memories. "I'm impressed by the organisation of the tournament - the people here are very friendly and helpful," said coach Joseph John. "I think it was a great experience."