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Kempen down Region I to claim bronze

Kempen AMA 2-1 Region I AMA
The Belgian representatives won the duel for second place in Group B thanks to second-half goals fromThorsten Ubachs and Serkan Kocaslan.

Region I's Ray Whelehan (left) challenges Kempen's Jean-Michel Vansteenberghe in Samobor
Region I's Ray Whelehan (left) challenges Kempen's Jean-Michel Vansteenberghe in Samobor ©Sportsfile

Kempen AMA claimed second place in Group B and picked up a bonze medal after defeating Region I AMA in Samobor.

Frantic finish
Second-half goals from Thorsten Ubachs and Serkan Kocaslan put the Belgian side in charge but Region I set up a frantic finale following Dean Kelly's late strike. Kempen held out, though, to finish behind section winners Castilla y León AMA.

Penalty save
Both sides were intent on playing attacking football albeit in contrasting styles. The Irish team made the early running with their direct approach, yet it was possession-conscious Kempen who had the first decent chance, Kocaslan firing wide when well placed in the 18th minute. Eric Van de bon then tried his luck from distance before Gino Somers' shot struck Wayne Byrne on the arm in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. However, goalkeeper Brendan O'Connell produced a great save to deny Van de bon.

Despite numerous half chances for both sides, neither could make a telling blow before the break, but in the 50th minute the deadlock was broken. Kocaslan teed up Ubachs, whose precise shot nestled in the top corner. Soon after, substitute Declan O'Connell latched on to a misplaced pass but could only shoot over when presented with a clear sight of goal.

Late rally
With 13 minutes remaining, Kocaslan doubled his side's lead after a lightning quick counterattack led by Tarik Traizi. Kempen's Jochen Vrolix then hit the post, though the last ten minutes belonged to Region I. David Lacey went close twice and Ray Whelehan also had a shot, but it was not until stoppage time that Gerry Smith's men struck, Kelly firing in an accurate cross-shot. Region I laid siege to the Kempen goal in the closing stages with even Brendan O'Connell joining the attack but Francis Jadoulle's charges held on to secure second place in the group.