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Santos keeps Aveiro afloat

Aveiro AMA 2-0 Ivan Odessa AMA Javier Santos revived the Portuguese contenders' campaign with both goals in a win that ends Ivan Odessa hopes.

Aveiro AMA forward Javier Santos revived the Portuguese contenders' UEFA Regions' Cup campaign with both goals in a win that ends Ivan Odessa AMA's hopes of reaching the final.

Victory vital
Both Aveiro and the Ukrainian representatives had lost their Group B openers, so needed victory tonight. And Santos ensured it was his team that remained in the hunt to reach Tuesday’s final as he struck twice in the first half.

Opening goal
Although the Portuguese side were the busier side early on, Ivan Odessa had the first real chance as midfielder Serhiy Kucherenko headed over from close range. Santos responded with a sweet volley saved by Maksim Malyita on 15 minutes but not long afterwards the goalkeeper was beaten by the striker as he headed in following a corner.

Lead doubles
Dmytro Yevstafyev came close with a free-kick but Santos scored again just past the half-hour, this time on the counterattack as he was sent free with only Malyita to beat and made no mistake. Yuriy Syvoborodko went nearest to pulling one back three minutes later but could not find the target.

Red card
The second half was largely controlled by Aveiro but Ivan Odessa did have their chances, notabke when captain Volodymyr Egorov hit the post with a free-kick from 25 metres out in the 68th minute. But with eleven minutes left they lost defender Dmytro Nikolayev to a red card for a foul challenge, and though the ten men pushed hard, they could not save their campaign. Aveiro still need to beat leaders Dolnoslaski AMA here on Sunday to top the group, and will also hope that Ivan Odessa will do them a favour by avoiding defeat against Ticino AMA in Rakovski. But Aveiro were able to take off impressive strikers Santos and José Bastos before the end to keep them fit for the next crunch encounter.