Resolute Ireland through to the final
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Eastern Region IRL 2-0 South Moravia
Goals from Darren Dunne and Paul Breen propelled Gerry Smith's hosts through to the decider.
Article top media content
• Darren Dunne scores with rebound from his own saved penalty for the hosts
• Paul Breen heads second; Eastern Region IRL will play Zagreb or Württemberg in final
• Next matches: Tuzla v Eastern Region IRL, Ankara v South Moravia (1 July)
Eastern Region IRL have booked their place in the 4 July UEFA Regions' Cup decider, a goal in each half against South Moravia confirming them as Group A winners.
With Miroslav Schwarz's side designed for durability rather than style, it was never likely to be a pretty game, but the hosts demonstrated their usual bullet-hard resolve, though it took a penalty to give them the breakthrough. Michael Kršák fouled James Lee in the box, and while David Juran saved Darren Dunne's effort from the spot, he could not prevent him scoring from the rebound.
For a while the Czech side looked rudderless; Rilwan Sule skimmed the top of the crossbar with one shot, and it took a Tomáš Novotný block to deny the lively midfielder minutes later. A Radim Záruba shot drilled at Sule ended up being the best of South Moravia's first-half chances.
However, they will wonder how they failed to equalise on 51 minutes, the industrious Záruba picking out Lukáš Kubíček at the back post, only for his team-mate to hammer his shot against the post. That proved to be a costly miss, Paul Breen getting a firm head to Darren Dunne's corner to make it 2-0, and it would have been three, had Gregory Moorhouse not got in the way of Noel Murray's shot, with the Czechs on the ropes.
The gloom duly deepened for South Moravia as Miloš Žoček cracked a free-kick against the crossbar with ten minutes to go. When they don't go in, they don't go in.