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Patrascu glad to have survived hosts' onslaught

Sorinel Patrascu was relieved that Oltenia AMA reached the UEFA Regions' Cup final after drawing with Centre Zagreb AMA, whose coach Sreten Ćuk thought the hosts should "have easily been 3-0 ahead by half-time".

Oltenia coach Sorinel Patrascu (right) receives a hug from Gabriel Petrovici
Oltenia coach Sorinel Patrascu (right) receives a hug from Gabriel Petrovici ©Sportsfile

Sorinel Patrascu was relieved his Oltenia AMA team qualified for Monday's UEFA Regions' Cup final after a 1-1 draw with Centre Zagreb AMA, whose coach Sreten Ćuk suggested the hosts should "have easily been 3-0 ahead by half-time". Privolzhie AMA earned themselves a bronze medal thanks to a 5-0 defeat of Group A's bottom side Bratislava AMA, a result which only reinforced Dmitry Golubev's resolve that his side should be in the final.

Sorinel Patrascu, Oltenia coach
Even if a draw was enough for us it was better that we focused on winning. We went out there thinking we would not be satisfied with a draw. We have technical players but against the big players of Zagreb we struggled. It was a really tough game, but in the end we have qualified for the final so I'm really happy. In the first half, they put a lot of pressure on us. They used plenty of high, long ball using their bigger, physical players against our smaller players. So at half-time, we thought we needed to keep possession better and keep the ball in their half and that helped us score that really important goal.

Sreten Ćuk, Centre Zagreb coach
This was our defining day and we came into the game with a lot of spirit, putting up a great display in the first half. I hope we showed the best side of our game then, we had plenty of chances, and I don't think I'm being unrealistic to say that we could have easily been 3-0 ahead by half-time. We had lots of shots in the box that were really good chances, but the Romanian goalkeeper [Octavian Alexandru Popescu] only had one save to make – the other ones we missed. In the second half the Romanian team, who are the best in our group, played a lot smarter and made a lot of breaks. I send them my congratulations and wish them the best. They took control of the game and it became played in the style they prefer. We knew we had to score twice and went forward leaving lots of space. I’m proud of my players and wish to thank UEFA for its organisation and hope Croatia was a good host.

Dmitry Golubev, Privolzhie coach
I wanted to win but I didn't expect this; we just wanted to reach the final by whatever means. I have regrets about the first match against Oltenia [a 2-0 loss] because the players were not psychologically in tune with the game. [Alexandr] Gorbunov's three goals were a plus for him but he is also his own biggest critic as a striker. We could have finished first in the group.

Ľubomír Bohúň, Bratislava coach
We believed we could get a result today, possibly even win, but it was a blow that we conceded at the end of the first half after some good play earlier on. At the beginning of the second half we had our biggest chance but didn't score and that's where the match turned. After the second goal, our team physically and mentally broke down. We have a goalkeeper [Andrej Mundi] of very high quality but every shot on goal went in so that was unfortunate for him. Congratulations to Privolzhie, they played very well and deserved to win after their second-half performance.