Winners for the first time in 2007, KS Besa took their second Albanian Cup in four years on Sunday with Paulin Dhëmbi scoring an extra-time winner following a 1-1 draw against KS Vllaznia.
The 30-year-old Dhëmbi, a second-half substitute, scored from a rebound in the 98th minute after Artion Poçi's shot came off the back of Vllaznia goalkeeper Armir Grima. Vllaznia had taken the lead on 65 minutes through teenage striker Bekim Bala's header, but defender Renato Arapi's deflection levelled the scores five minutes from time.
It was a happy end to a tense week for Besa coach Shpetim Duro, who won his first Albanian Cup despite being dismissed from his role earlier in the week, only to be reappointed two days later after players called for his reinstatement. "With everything that happened last week, I am very proud of our guys," he said. "They never gave up, even when they were down. This shows the heart this team has to finish the season on a high note."
Vllaznia coach Edi Martini added: "It's very sad to lose this way. We were five minutes away from success but that's football. I feel terrible for our guys who gave everything they had, but the inexperience of some young players didn't allow us to protect the lead patiently."
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