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Tuzla toil their way to amateur finals

Tuzla Canton rode their luck at times, but took maximum points in UEFA Regions' Cup Group 7 to book a return to the amateur finals they last graced in 2007.

Tuzla Canton line up at the 2006/07 UEFA Regions' Cup finals
Tuzla Canton line up at the 2006/07 UEFA Regions' Cup finals ©UEFA.com

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Tuzla Canton are set for another bash at the UEFA Regions' Cup finals after taking maximum points on home soil in intermediary round Group 7.

Dževad Šećerbegović's side rode their luck throughout, going behind to a third-minute Yuri Kozlov penalty against Belarusian side ALF-2007. However, they secured a 2-1 victory in the 76th minute as Majid Šmigalović scored from the spot after Kozlov's dismissal for a second bookable offence. They trailed after three minutes against Italian side Lazio too, but another Šmigalović penalty and a Nedžad Djanić strike turned the game on its head, with Lazio having two players sent off in the closing stages.

That left Tuzla needing only to avoid defeat against Leiria on the final day to progress, though once more they went behind inside ten minutes, and needed an own goal to restore parity before the break. The Portuguese side's Fábio Mateus was sent off on 78 minutes and Tuzla managed to atone for having a penalty saved on 87 minutes, as Djanić and defender Meris Mešanović scored at the death to confirm a return to the final tournament they last graced in Bulgaria in 2007.

The 2015 final tournament will be staged next June by one of the eight teams who qualify.

Dževad Šećerbegović, Tuzla coach
"We had the advantage of playing at home and we gave our best. In every game we conceded the first goal but we managed to come back and win each game which makes reaching the final tournament even sweeter."

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