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Yepes remains grounded amid final euphoria

Javier Yepes pinpointed Castilla y León AMA's second goal against Kempen AMA as the key moment in the 4-1 win which secured a final berth, while Region I AMA's Gerry Smith was delighted his attacking changes paid off.

Alberto Serrano punches the air in delight as the Kempen players trudge off the field
Alberto Serrano punches the air in delight as the Kempen players trudge off the field ©Sportsfile

Castilla y León AMA coach Javier Yepes pinpointed his team's second goal against Kempen AMA in UEFA Regions' Cup Group B as the pivotal moment in the 4-1 win which secured the Spanish side's place in Monday's final. His opposite number, Francis Jadoulle, was full of praise for Castilla, while Region I manager Gerry Smith was delighted that his attacking changes paid dividends after a 3-0 victory against Savez GradiškaAMA, whose coach cited tiredness as a key factor in their defeat.

Javier Yepes, Castilla coach
It was a very positive match, though the final score was maybe bigger than the flow of play suggested. We had many chances, although the Belgian team are a very good side. We were lucky on a few occasions and the second goal, Andrés González's header, was very important. That was very welcome for us because it was a blow to the morale of Kempen. We hope that every player in the squad will be available for the third match, but we won't take it easy against Savez Gradiška. It is very important for us that there is a real union between the players – the team comes first.

Francis Jadoulle, Kempen coach
Castilla are a very strong side. They started very quickly and when they scored the goal we had to push higher up the pitch which worked initially as we created chances. At the start of the second half we had the better of the game for ten minutes but then we made some mistakes and you can't do that against Spanish teams. I don't think it would have made a difference if we had taken the lead; Castilla are a team with a lot of potential and with a lot of good players.

Gerry Smith, Region I manager
Both of us had to win to have any chance of staying in contention. There was a lot of pressure on both teams and we were just hoping results would go our way and that we might sneak in the backdoor but it's not to be, Castilla are through. We decided we would have a go as we had to win the match − a draw was no good. The team was set up to try and get goals and win the match, which has happened so we are happy. We got some luck today which we didn't get on Monday. We had a corner kick which they broke from and probably could have scored; the first goal was decisive and we got it shortly afterwards and were in the driving seat then.

Slobodan Crnadak, Savez Gradiška coach
When we arrived here we knew that Castilla were very strong and that Region I are only a little way behind them. We knew the quality of Kempen is similar to ours because the region is very small. My team put in a lot of effort in Nis, Serbia in the Intermediary round when we overcame the home team [Eastern Serbia AMA] to get here. The biggest problem we had was that the tournament is played at the end of the season and my players are not as fresh as in September when the qualification round was played.