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Xäzär win revived Azerbaijani Super Cup

Published: Wednesday 23 October 2013, 14.55CET
Defender Rasim Ramaldanov struck at the death as Xäzär Länkäran FK beat champions and cup holders Neftçi PFK 2-1 in the first Azerbaijani Super Cup since 1995.
by Oqtay Atayev
Xäzär win revived Azerbaijani Super Cup
Xäzär were surprise Azerbaijani Super Cup winners ©Domenic Aquilina
Published: Wednesday 23 October 2013, 14.55CET

Xäzär win revived Azerbaijani Super Cup

Defender Rasim Ramaldanov struck at the death as Xäzär Länkäran FK beat champions and cup holders Neftçi PFK 2-1 in the first Azerbaijani Super Cup since 1995.

Xäzär Länkäran FK caused a stir by beating 2012/13 Premier League champions and cup holders Neftçi PFK 2-1 in the first Azerbaijani Super Cup match staged since 1995.

Centre-back Rasim Ramaldanov was the unlikely hero for Xäzär Länkäran, scoring an 89th-minute winner from an assist by fellow defender Manuel Skarlatake.

Xäzär, who trail second-placed Neftçi in the current league standings by seven points and four positions, led when Ağabala Ramazanov set up Mbilla Etame midway through the first half. However, having seen the underdogs also hit the post, Neftçi passed up a great chance to equalise before the break.

The tempo picked up after half-time with Xäzär initially dominant, only to lose midfielder Sadio Tounkara to a second yellow card. Four minutes later, with 68 on the clock, Neftçi made it 1-1, Carlos Cardoso finishing off Araz Abdullayev's ball into the box. Against the odds, though, John Toshack's side – defeated on penalties by Neftçi in last season's Azerbaijani Cup final – avoided extra time thanks to Ramaldanov's late clincher.

"It was a very difficult match and therefore we are doubly happy," said the match winner. "Of course it is great that I scored but the most important thing was that we won." Toshack added: "I think we were the better team and deserved it. We are happy to finally have a trophy."

Last updated: 24/10/13 2.04CET

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