"Today we came up with 11 gladiators," said UE Sant Julià coach Raul Cañete after they defeated FC Lusitans 2-1 to win the Copa Constitució in Andorra.
José Aguilar struck early in the second half to clinch the game not long after captain Sebastian Varela's opener had been cancelled out by Zé Carlos. It ensures Sant Julià join league runners-up UE Santa Coloma in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.
Lusitans, despite being pipped to third place in the league by Sant Julià, were favourites to win at a packed Estadi Comunal. However, on 29 minutes Varela met Daniel Mejías's corner with a powerful header
Lusitans had beaten UE Santa Coloma 6-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals but were finding Sant Julià goalkeeper Jesús Coca – to be named man of the match – tough to beat. Their pressure told in the 50th minute as Miguel Dos Reis's free-kick was headed in by Zé Carlos. However, Aguilar then finished off a fine team move from Sant Julià, who had previously destroyed FC Santa Coloma's double dreams in the last four.
It was a fourth cup win in seven seasons for Sant Julià, who lost the 2013 final to UE Santa Coloma, and Cañete said: "Today was an epic feat, against Lusitans, a super team, so I think today we have come up with 11 gladiators and we succeeded. It was tough because of all our injuries, but we had confidence and pride in ourselves and this is what was reflected on the pitch, and that was the key.
"This has two rewards. First the Cup, as it is always an honour to get another title, and secondly to represent this country in Europe and be able to demonstrate that our standard is increasing."
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