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Keleti Régió muscle Eastern Region out

Eastern Region 2-2 Keleti Régió
Despite a late equaliser, the Northern Irish side bowed out of contention for a final place with their ten-man opponents thriving in adversity.

Keleti Régió celebrate Balázs Pálvölgyi's strike against Eastern Region
Keleti Régió celebrate Balázs Pálvölgyi's strike against Eastern Region ©Sportsfile

Ten-man Keleti Régió were denied victory in Piove di Sacco, but Eastern Region's late equaliser was just a consolation prize, while their Hungarian opponents are within a win of a UEFA Regions' Cup final place.

Jeff Brady's volley from 12 metres two minutes into added time prevented Tamás Feczkó's side from taking all three points, but they can take great solace from the way they recovered after Ádám Szűcs received a second yellow card on 65 minutes. At that stage they were 1-0 down, but they were to score twice in the next five minutes to set up a must-win Group A encounter with host side Veneto on Thursday.

Keleti Régió took their time to settle after a hectic start before László Lakatos and András Fodor tried their luck from distance. The Northern Irish contenders had shown little in terms of attacking momentum until the latter stages of the first period, but Colum Curtis put them ahead on 42 minutes, powering his way above the Keleti Régió defence to convert from a corner. It could easily have been worse for the Hungarian team, Róbert Makó making a terrific save to fend off Ryan Moffatt's 20-metre shot.

Szűcs’s dismissal seemed to spell disaster, but it inspired Keleti Régió; within seconds, substitute Balázs Pálvölgyi had dispatched Lakatos's incisive assist from the left into the net, and four minutes on, Krisztian Less got the finishing touch after a sharp counterattack. Fighting for survival, Eastern Region snapped back, but Brady's goal came too late to prevent their elimination.