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Group 7: North District lead Dutch challenge

North District Amateur ensured their place at the 2002/03 UEFA Regions' Cup finals as they won Group 7 in style.

North District Amateur ensured there will be a Dutch team in the final eight at the 2002/03 UEFA Regions' Cup as they won Group 7 in style.

Joy for Molenaars
Gerard Molenaars' side won all three of their games to book a place in the third final tournament in June 2003. They started their campaign with a 2-1 win against Malta Amateur, before winning 2-0 against Northern Ireland Amateur and 2-1 against Algarve Amateur to take the group comfortably.

Boersma strikes
Boersma opened the scoring after 12 minutes against Malta at the Mardijk stadium in Assen and Smit scored a second after 79 minutes before Lagana pulled a goal back with three minutes to go to set up a tense finale to the game.

Two goals
The game against Northern Ireland was to prove less of a struggle as Boersma put his side into a second-minute lead before De Jonge doubled his side's advantage on the stroke of half-time to ease North District to victory.

Decisive game
The final game against unbeaten Algarve was to prove decisive, and once more, North Amateur had to thank Boersma's striking skills at the Sportpark Hoogeveen. Jose Narciso Rosa had opened the scoring for the visitors after 55 minutes, but Boersma struck back after 71 minutes before a penalty in the last minute from Kasto settled the game - and the group - in the Dutch side's favour.

Rough justice
It was tough on José Baptista's side who had impressed in their back-to-back wins against Northern Ireland and Malta. A 1-0 win against the Northern Irish side came thanks to a 25th-minute strike from Alexandre Martinho Catarina before three goals in the space of seven minutes overcame Malta at the Gemeenteliijk stadium.

Goal spree
After a goalless first half, Manuel Caldeira Corjão struck twice in the 62nd and 68th minutes before Deolindo Lemos Vale added a third just a minute later to finally ruin Malta's resolve. To add to Malta's misery Lagana was dismissed with eight minutes remaining for a second bookable offence.

Malta defeated
Malta's campaign was to be a winless one as they lost 4-0 to Northern Ireland in their final group game, with a 32nd-minute opener for Dougherty, two either side of half-time from Holland and a 70th-minute goal from Bownes completing the scoring.

Heese pleased
Nonetheless, Malta coach Horst Heese pronounced himself pleased with his side's overall performance, telling uefa.com: "Our Maltese side put up their best in all three games. But of course playing against such high standard of opposition, it was very difficult to achieve positive results due to our limited resources. Yet one of the best players to emerge out of the tournament was none other than the Malta goalkeeper Chris Calleja.

UEFA should be proud
"Our team spirit was really high during the whole tournament and my players felt so important during the tournament," Heese added. "This is why I want to stress the importance of such a tournament at amateur level organised by UEFA. I think that UEFA can be proud of organising such a competition at amateur level not just for Malta but for other countries at this level. The motivation shown by all the participants and players during the tournament was really impressive."