Kamo Hovhannisyan and Sargis Baloyan both scored to secure FC Pyunik the Armenian Cup for a second year running with a 2-1 victory against FC Gandzasar.
Pyunik were aiming for a record seventh post-independence final win and led at the break through Hovhannisyan. Baloyan doubled the lead on the hour though Narek Beglaryan ensured a nervous ending before Pyunik sealed a UEFA Europa League first qualifying round place.
After a cautious start by both teams, the experienced Gandzasar team, in their club's first final, raised the tempo only to find themselves behind on the stroke of half-time. Baloyan spotted the run of Hovhannisyan and his through ball was turned in.
Gandzasar began the second half in positive fashion, dominating possession, though Pyunik were dangerous on the counterattack, Baloyan and Agvan Papikyan both going close. Eventually Baloyan made it two from a one-on-one, though just a couple of minutes later Beglaryan headed in. Hayrapet Avagyan nearly equalised but Gor Manukyan parried his powerful header from close range.
"It was a typical cup game," Pyunik coach Sargis Hovsepyan said. "Any team can motivate themselves for a single game and put in a decent performance. We did everything properly today. This game proved we have quality players, though we still need more experience to raise our skill to another level."
The cup win is a boost for ten-time champions Pyunik who sit unusually in the bottom half of the league, and Hovhannisyan said: "It is a season to forget for Pyunik. We failed to keep up our standards and could not challenge for the top places. However, this victory in the cup final shows we have the potential to improve next season.
"I want to devote this success to my brother Hovannes, who is having surgery tomorrow [for a knee injury keeping him out for a year]. I hope he will recover swiftly and return to the pitch."
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