Oltenia AMA are in the driving seat to progress from Group A to the 2009 UEFA Regions' Cup final on Monday but tournament hosts Centre Zagreb AMA and Russia's Privolzhie AMA are waiting to capitalise on any slip-up.
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It is still all to play for in Group A with three teams in the running to make the UEFA Regions' Cup final going into the last set of games.
Oltenia AMA have won both their matches in the section, but still need a point to be sure of progressing to Monday's showpiece against Group B winners Castilla y León AMA. Tournament hosts Centre Zagreb AMA need to defeat the Romanian representatives when they meet today at 17.30CET and hope Dmitry Golubev's Privolzhie AMA do not produce a similar result against Bratislava AMA. If all three sides finish on six points it will go down to goal difference in their head-to-head meetings.
Centre Zagreb coach Sreten Ćuk is under no illusions as to the size of his side's task. "If we want to finish first, we need to win," he said, "and against a good Oltenia team, it will be very, very difficult." As he has done throughout the week, though, he was quick to emphasise the bigger picture at this amateur event. "After all, the result isn't the most important thing here. I would be most happy if one or two players from this team go on to play for a professional club in the future. That's the point of all of this."
Ćuk's opposite number Sorinel Patrascu knows a draw will do, but is taking nothing for granted against a Croatian outfit hungry to make up for the disappointment of their 2-0 defeat by Privolzhie on Wednesday. "Our final game against the hosts will be very hard," said Patrascu, who will be without suspended defender Ionut Stoica. "We have to get the right result to make the final and you can guarantee the Croatian side will have a lot of support from the stands."
Privolzhie meet Bratislava, who are yet to pick up a point, in Vrbovec. Golubev suggested his side started the tournament slowly and were perhaps fortunate to run out such comfortable winners against Centre Zagreb, but now he has his sights on the main prize. "We played a pretty bad first match and lost but now we can finish first and for that we need to win," Golubev said. "We need results to go our way but we are all competitors and want to win against Bratislava first."
Sergei Makarov collected his second yellow card of the finals on Wednesday and will miss the decider, while Bratislava's Martin Moravčík serves the remainder of his two-match suspension. Despite losing the first two games, Ľubomír Bohúň's Slovakian side are keen to bow out on a high. "In last game we have to play better football and try to repair the bad impression created from the first two games," he said.