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Gagno supplies finishing touch for Veneto

Veneto 0-0 Selección Catalana (aet, Veneto win 5-4 on penalties)
The home captain Paolo Gagno hammered in the winning spot-kick to secure the trophy for ten-man Veneto.

Veneto celebrate Paolo Gagno's decisive spot-kick against Selección Catalana
Veneto celebrate Paolo Gagno's decisive spot-kick against Selección Catalana ©Sportsfile

Paolo Gagno supplied the crucial finishing touch as Veneto won their second UEFA Regions' Cup, after an exhausting game against Selección Catalana in Abano Terme.

The captain's nerve held as he smashed in the final penalty of the shoot-out, with Albert Vivo the fall guy for the Spanish representatives, having fired wide with his side's second attempt. It was only the second UEFA Regions' Cup to go to spot-kicks, with Veneto prevailing despite ending the 120 minutes with ten men.

Veneto looked like they might be overrun as Toni Almendros's side carved out space and dominated possession early on. Isacco Tegon deserved a mention in dispatches for clearing off the boot of Oscar Muñoz as the target man charged down a long ball, and Guillem Cornella may be left to wonder why he did not trouble Paolo De Carli more as the ball broke to him out on the left.

Veneto hauled themselves into contention slowly, with the deft touches of Federico Andres Lorenzatti weaving through midfield, but the home side missed the suspended Franco Ballarini. Igor Furlan did his best to fill that vacancy for a presence in the box; within minutes of the restart he was picked out by Paolo Gagno and smashed an angled shot against the crossbar, then had Carlos Miguel scrambling to gather with a header.

However, converting possession into genuine pressure would prove a challenge for both sides. De Carli stood up to deny Pol after the little Selección Catalana forward stole in on goal, while Veneto's skilful left-back Prince Yarboye offered hope for the home side, bringing the ball down beautifully before sending it over the bar. Indeed, it was a game that ultimately had 'extra time' written all over it.

Tegon repeated his first-half heroics by whipping the ball out from under Alejandro Cano's nose in the box, but that was to be the best the first period had to offer. Defender Alberto Mantovani was sent off early in the second for an elbow on Xabier Puerto, and Cano passed up a great opportunity to finish Veneto off, planting a header firmly over the bar from a great position.

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