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Timely Cox breaks Savez Gradiška resistance

Savez Gradiška AMA 0-1 Kempen AMA
A stoppage-time effort from substitute Tom Cox earned the Belgian outfit a narrow success against nine-man Savez Gradiška in their Group B opener.

Kempen's Tom Cox (left) celebrates scoring his side's late winner
Kempen's Tom Cox (left) celebrates scoring his side's late winner ©Sportsfile

A stoppage-time goal from substitute Tom Cox earned Belgium's Kempen AMA a narrow victory against nine-man Savez Gradiška AMA in UEFA Regions' Cup Group B.

Red cards
Cox had been on the pitch 15 minutes when headed in a left-wing cross from Tarik Traizi with time ebbing away, dashing the Bosnian side's hopes of securing a battling point following 57th and 79th minute-dismissals of Goran Zelenac and Slaviša Tepić. Kempen are second in the section behind Spain's Castilla y León AMA, who they play on Wednesday, on goal difference.

Crossbar rattled
Nikola Željković tested Kempen goalkeeper Bart Weyen from distance after 18 minutes and Slobodan Crnadak's team came even closer to scoring in added time at the end of the first half when Dragiša Grmuša headed against the crossbar. Kempen struggled to fashion anything of note in the first half but, with words of encouragement from coach Francis Jadoulle no doubt reverberating in their ears, began the second period in positive mood.

Late heartbreak
Their task was made somewhat easier by the red cards yet Savez Gradiška were proving a tough proposition to break down. However, with 90 minutes elapsed, Cox broke Bosnian hearts with a timely header, giving his side an early share of the group lead.