Region I AMA 0-2 Castilla y León AMA
The Spanish side kicked off their Group B campaign with a deserved victory courtesy of strikes from skipper David Durantez and Antonio Ramírez.
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Castilla y León AMA kicked off their UEFA Regions' Cup Group B campaign with a deserved victory against Region I AMA courtesy of goals from David Durantez and Antonio Ramírez.
Durantez, the Castilla captain, unleashed a dipping, swerving effort from distance on the quarter-hour mark, while Ramírez finished off a sweeping move 17 minutes from time, killing off any hopes of an Irish comeback. Castilla, who did not concede in qualifying, top the fledgling group table on goal difference from Kempen AMA, who they meet on Wednesday.
Region I were forced on to the back foot early on and from David Alonso's third-minute corner, Ramírez headed over unopposed. Gerry Smith was yelling for his Region I players to mark tighter when Castilla won their next corner moments later yet it was another Spanish head which got to the ball first, Mariano González nodding into the side-netting.
If those situations were preventable, there was little Region I could have done about the opening goal after 16 minutes. Durantez picked the ball up in space 30 metres from goal, advanced and dispatched a shot in off Brendan O'Connell's left-hand post. Castilla No1 Alejandro Aparicio had been a spectator thus far but he was pressed into service when beating out David Lacey's effort after the striker cut inside Marcos Conejero.
Ramírez should have doubled the lead only to head González's chip over, while after the break the former rounded Brendan O'Connell and crossed to the back post where Ramón Marín's effort was blocked. Wayne Callaghan directed William Molloy's corner over as the Irish began to exert a modicum of pressure, which was quickly extinguished when Ramírez fired into an empty net after Alberto Mato's square ball across the penalty area took Brendan O'Connell out of the game.