KF Laçi lifted their maiden Albanian Cup on Saturday, with Emiljano Cela striking in extra time to secure a 1-0 victory against KS Bylis.
Bylis eliminated Albanian Super League champions – and last year's Cup runners-up – KS Skënderbeu in the semi-finals, but had their work cut out in the final. Naci Şensoy's side had to play for almost 100 minutes with ten men after Besmir Arifaj was shown a second yellow card early in the second half.
However, their determined efforts frustrated Laçi, who passed up several good opportunities. Burhan Emerllahu and Valdon Nimani in particular were guilty of missing second-half chances, while Erjon Vucaj was denied by Bylis goalkeeper Stivi Frasheri in the first period of extra time.
Bylis's resistance was broken, however, in the 118th minute. Vucaj swung an excellent delivery into the area from a free-kick which Cela buried beyond Frasheri to send the Laçi fans into raptures.
"It was a very difficult win, but a well deserved one for our team," said Laçi coach Stavri Nica, for whom it is a second Albanian Cup, having lifted the trophy while in charge of KS Teuta.
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