Bulgaria's Yugoiztochen Region booked their place in the finals of the 2013 UEFA Regions' Cup despite succumbing 5-0 to Rijeka on the final day of qualifying in Group 2.
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Two wins from three Group 2 outings proved sufficient for Yugoiztochen Region to top the section and take their place in the finals of the UEFA Regions' Cup in Veneto this June.
The Bulgarian outfit made the perfect start to the intermediary round on Wednesday, sweeping aside Prahova Muntenia 3-0, before Hristo Bangeev struck for the second consecutive match in a 2-0 defeat of Genève two days later. That gave the hosts an unassailable four-point lead over second-placed Rijeka, who followed up a 1-1 opening day draw with Genève by drawing a blank against Prahova Muntenia.
Already assured of a finals berth, Yugoiztochen Region were caught off guard in Sunday's final fixtures, suffering a comprehensive 5-0 reverse against Rijeka in Lovech. Meanwhile, Prahova Muntenia edged out Genève 1-0 to claim third spot courtesy of George Bridinel's 54th-minute winner.
"We played really well in the first two games, but there is a lot of hard work to do," said Yugoiztochen Region coach Krassimir Manolov. "We showed great character and resilience. Before the start of the tournament, I had some worries, but the lads responded well and I think we deserved to win the group. Our team is very young and the tournament will provide a great experience for them."