Ticino AMA have earned a second trip to the UEFA Regions' Cup finals after winning Group 6 on goal difference following an eventful tournament in Azerbaijan.
Ticino AMA have reached the UEFA Regions' Cup finals for the second time after winning Group 6 on goal difference from Belgrade AMA having been awarded a 3-0 win in their game against Tbilisi AMA.
Both the Serbian side and Ticino, who reached the 2003 finals in Germany, finished the section level on seven points, but Ticino progressed thanks to a superior goal difference after being given a 3-0 victory by UEFA's Control & Disciplinary Body in the first game of the mini-tournament in Azerbaijan.
Ticino got off to a winning start in their opening game with Andrea Beltraminelli scoring from the penalty spot after 52 minutes to earn a 1-0 win against Tbilisi, but Switzerland's representatives were later award the match 3-0 as the Georgian side were punished for fielding a suspended player. On the same day, Vladimir Krštić's early penalty and a 75th-minute effort from Vladan Žujović gave Belgrade a 2-0 win against group hosts Femida AMA 2-0.
While Seymur Nammadov's effort for Femida cancelled out Mamuka Chkadua's effort as the two sides from former Soviet republics drew 1-1 on Matchday 2, there were no goals in the game between Ticino and Belgrade at the Ismet Qaibov Stadium in Baku, although two bookings for the Swiss side's Marco Brusa led to his dismissal and suspension for the final game.
Ticino nonetheless won that match 3-1 against Femida, with Beltraminelli scoring twice – once from open play and the other from the penalty spot – at the Shafa Stadium before Kanan Gulmaliyev hit back for Femida. Substitute Gianni Gargiuli scored a late third for the side from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland to leave them with seven points and a +5 goal difference.
The Serbian side opened the scoring against Tbilisi through Miroslav Trninić ten minutes into the second half before Zurab Bardzimadze's own goal three minutes later sealed a 2-0 victory. Having not conceded at all in Azerbaijan, Miloš Veselinović's side ended the tournament with a goal difference of +4, but nevertheless missed out on a place in the finals, which will be held in Sliven and Stara Zagora in Bulgaria between 20 and 26 June.
The draw for the finals will be held in Sliven on 17 May. Hosts South-East Region AMA of Bulgaria will compete with Ticino, Northern Ireland's Eastern Region AMA, Portugal's Aveiro AMA, France's Basse-Normandie AMA, Bosnia-Herzegovina's Tuzla Canton AMA, Ukraine's Ivan Odessa AMA and Poland's Dolnoslaski AMA for the world's most prestigious amateur footballing title.