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Padania complete treble

Padania celebrate their success at this year's VIVA World Cup.

Padania celebrate their success at this year's VIVA World Cup.

The fourth VIVA World Cup, played in Gozo last week, saw Padania retain the title for the third time after a 1-0 win over Kurdistan in the final.

The tournament was contested by six regional teams. Kurdistan and Padania topped their respective groups with maximum points. The match from Group 1 between Gozo and Padania (1-2) and the Group 2 clash between Kurdistan and Provence (3-2) were undoubtedly the best of the group.

Occitania and Regno delle Due Sicilie qualified for the semi-finals as runners-up of their respective groups.

The first semi-final was a clash between the northern Italians Padania and southerners Regno delle due Sicilie. Padania recorded a comfortable 2-0 win. Mauro Nannini opened the scoring early and Maurizio Ganz (ex-Milan and Inter) sealed the issue with a second goal four minutes from time.

In the other semi, Kurdistan came from behind to beat Occitania 2-1. The team from southern France took the lead through Eric Gamet but Kurdistan levelled the score through Hydar Qaraman and Karzaz Mohammed hit the winner eight minutes from time.

The final was a repeat of the previous edition, won by Padania 2-0 in Verona last year. This time, the Italians scored the title-clinching goal on 24 minutes through midfielder Luca Mosti.

Hosts Gozo, with Daniel Bogdanovic and Chris Camilleri in the side, were beaten 2-1 by Padania in their opening match, John Camilleri scoring the hosts' temporary equaliser.

In their second group match, Gozo's chances of qualifying suffered a hammer blow in the very first minute when Occitania went ahead from a penalty. The French team soaked up the pressure from the home team before doubling their lead just before half-time.

Gozo ended up with a player less when Mario Azzopardi was sent off early in the second half. Occitania took advantage and scored three more goals before the final whistle.

Gozo produced a better performance in the play-off for the fifth place as they beat Provence 2-1, the goals for the winners coming from Camilleri and Rodney Buttigieg.

The next edition of the VIVA World Cup will be held in Kurdistan in 2012.

Final placings: 1. Padania; 2. Kurdistan; 3. Occitania; 4. Regno delle due Sicilie; 5. Gozo; 6. Provence.

Women's competition: First leg - Gozo vs Padania 0-4. Second leg - Padania vs Gozo 3-0.

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