Markos Pizzeli struck two minutes from time as FC Ararat Yerevan won the Armenian Cup with a 2-1 win against FC Banants.
It was the fifth time Ararat have won the competition, equalling the record held by FC MIKA. Banants started brightly with Simeon Zlatev coming close but their ardour was soon cooled by bookings to Marko Markov and Karen Aleksanyan in quick succession. Ararat took the initiative and came close on ten minutes. Pizzeli's powerful drive was parried by Banants goalkeeper Evghenii Matiughin into the path of Sargis Movsisyan who blazed over. Matiughin denied Pizzeli again on 29 minutes, saving his fierce drive from 35 metres.
Banants were playing largely on the break and showed a real cutting edge seven minutes before the interval to take the lead. Bulgarians Marko Markov and Simeon Zlatev played a neat one-two before Markov shot in from a tight angle. Banants had further chances soon after and were made to rue those misses in the second half when Ararat took command. After a period of pressure Ararat finally drew level 15 minutes from time when Vahagn Minasyan headed in Pizzeli's free-kick. The match was played in pouring rain, disrupting its flow, but just as the game looked to heading for extra-time Pizzeli struck, scoring with a slight deflection off a defender. The victory earns Ararat a place in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup for the 2008/09 season.
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