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Oltenia ease to opening win

Privolzhie AMA 0-2 Oltenia AMA
Goals fromMirel Adrian Sirbu and Octavian Marinescu gave the Romanian outfit a comfortable win against the first Russian side to make the finals.

Oltenia players celebrate scoring against Privolzhie
Oltenia players celebrate scoring against Privolzhie ©HNS

Oltenia AMA opened their UEFA Regions' Cup Group A campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Privolzhie AMA in Velika Gorica.

Good value
The Romanian representatives were good value for their victory, scoring a goal in each half through Mirel Adrian Sirbu and Octavian Marinescu. The win gives Oltenia a share of the lead in the section with tournament hosts Centre Zagreb AMA.

Debut display
The first Russian side to play in a UEFA Regions' Cup finals, Privolzhie were the better side in the early stages. However, Oltenia – who competed in the 2005 tournament under the name of Dacia Amateur – soon took control of proceedings. In the 13th minute, Oltenia captain Nicolae Iovan fired in a warning shot but Dmitry Golubev's charges failed to take heed and were behind five minutes later.

Sirbu threat
The lively Sirbu collected a loose ball in the area and shot accurately past Russian goalkeeper Victor Konoplev. The breakthrough galvanised Oltenia, with Sorin Patrascu's side first to every 50-50 and having most of the play. They spurned several chances before the break, most notably in the 38th minute when Sirbu fluffed his lines when presented with a clear chance.

Personal duel
The second period was played out in much the same vein as Sirbu continued his personal duel with Konoplev, being denied once again just before the hour mark. Anton Khairov then went close for Privolzhie but, with 12 minutes remaining, Oltenia sealed victory. Ruslan Amanov was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and Marinescu converted from the penalty spot to secure an opening win.