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Veneto melt Eastern Region's resolve

Veneto 4-1 Eastern Region
A goal of a lifetime from Federico Andres Lorenzatti helped steer the tournament hosts towards a resounding opening victory.

Federico Andres Lorenzatti celebrates scoring Veneto's second goal against Eastern Region
Federico Andres Lorenzatti celebrates scoring Veneto's second goal against Eastern Region ©FIGC-LND

Veneto made a storming start as UEFA Regions' Cup hosts, with Federico Andres Lorenzatti's tremendous drive the pick of their four Group A goals against Eastern Region.

A flurry of early corners augured well for the Northern Irish side, but they fell behind on nine minutes when keeper Jonathan Parr spilled a cross from the left, allowing Franco Ballarini an easy finish from close range. Midfielder Lorenzatti scored a glorious second on 27 minutes, trading passes with Francesco Gasperato before delivering a terrific low drive from the edge of the box which Parr could not prevent flying into the net.

Two-nil soon became three, Gasperato racing through and scampering past the despairing Parr before turning the ball across for Ballarini to grab his second open goal of the game. Eastern Region, though, were not without an attacking edge, and Paolo Di Carlo was called on to save just before the break to deny Paul Maguire, with Ryan Moffatt thwarted from the rebound.

Hopes of a second-half rally for Harry McConkey's men soon foundered, Isacco Tegon glancing in Gasperato's corner within three minutes of the restart. Eastern Region were given a glimmer of hope when Moffatt converted calmly from the spot after Igor Furlan was penalised for a foul on Maguire. There was to be no salvation, though, with the hosts on target to repeat their success in the first UEFA Regions' Cup finals in 1999.