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Qarachala get winning ticket in Lithuania

Samir Guliyev struck in added time to send Azerbaijan's Qarachala to the UEFA Regions' Cup finals, as Belgrade were denied at the death in intermediary round Group 4.

Qarachala (in white) have made it to the Regions' Cup finals in Veneto, Italy
Qarachala (in white) have made it to the Regions' Cup finals in Veneto, Italy ©Rokas Tenys/fbk-kaunas.lt

Qarachala became the second Azerbaijani side to reach the finals of the UEFA Regions' Cup, securing top spot in intermediary round Group 4 with a 2-1 win against Belgrade in Lithuania.

Azerbaijan had beaten the Lithuanian host region Lietava and South East FYROM in their opening two matches, but needed three points from their final fixture, with Serbian contenders Belgrade – among the eight final tournament contenders in Portugal in 2011 – coming into the game with two victories and a superior scoring record.

Nikola Donevski put Belgrade ahead, and while Timur Dadashov fired his side level 13 minutes later, the Serbian team might have forged on to a place in the final tournament in Veneto had Elçin Jafarov not denied captain Djordje Stojanović from the penalty spot. They were nonetheless within seconds of the finals when Samir Guliyev struck in added time for Adil Makhmudov's side.

With Dadashov pulling the strings, Qarachala had established themselves as the team to beat with a 3-0 win against Lietava in the opening match, with Belgrade's 2-0 defeat by South East FYROM later being awarded as a 3-0 victory. Qarachala then overcame South East FYROM 2-0 on Wednesday while Belgrade put five without reply past the host region to set up the dramatic denoument.

South East FYROM saw off the hosts 3-0 on the last day to finish third in the section. Azerbaijan were represented by Geyazan at the 2003 UEFA Regions' Cup final tournament in Germany.

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